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Archive for September, 2007

From the Times-Picayune (relevant info bolded):

Blaze damages Uptown barroom

A three-alarm fire damaged popular nightspot Miss Mae’s at Napoleon Avenue and Magazine Street on Monday night.

Fire officials believe the fire started next door at Cafe Bayard and jumped the 18-inch gap between the buildings, according to Chief Glenn Trainor of the New Orleans Fire Department. The owner, Marc LoCasio, was in the 1905-circa cafe building at the time and called 911 to report the fire at 9:07 p.m. The extent of the damage to that building was unclear.

Fire officials say they had some resistance from bar patrons who were reluctant to evacuate because they were watching the Saints game.

Most of the damage was confined to dead space between the walls and between the first-floor ceiling and second floor, Trainor said.

The fire was declared under control at 10:15 p.m., Trainor said.

He said there were no injuries to bar patrons or to firefighters.

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I hate my HOA

I hate my HOA. That’s homeowner’s association, for those lucky enough to not have to deal with one. Ever since we bought a house in March, the long arm of the HOA has loomed over us, kindly letting us know when the grass in our postage-stamp-sized yard has grown too high, or when the boxwood guarding the front porch has gotten a bit scruffy.

On Sept. 20, we received a “final request for voluntary compliance” to a “deed restriction violation” that apparently occurred on Sept. 17.  This means that, in the span of three whole days, we should have received a previous notification (or maybe two), BY SNAIL MAIL, to fix the egregious error of needing to mow and edge (it had been two weeks, and we were out of town last weekend when it would have been mowed).

Here’s the good stuff. The following is quoted directly from the letter we were mailed.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, PURSUANT TO TEXAS PROPERTY CODE, CHAPTER 209 THAT: (caps all theirs)

1. You have until 10/2/2007 to cure the above-described violation and avoid further enforcement action. By that deadline, you are required following these guidelines: [Wtf does this sentence mean? “You are required following these guidelines” doesn’t even make sense. And do we need to mow, edge, AND perform the following actions, or will just mowing and edging suffice? Grammar is your friend, folks.]

2. You may request a hearing pursuant to Section 209.007 of the Texas Property Code, provided you request such hearing in writing and deliver it to me [who?] on or before the 30th day after the date you receive this notice.

3. If you make a timely written request for a hearing pursuant to Section 209.007 of the Texas Property Code, a hearing before the Board of the Association will be scheduled within 30 days after we receive your written request and you will receive written noticed of the date, time and place of the hearing not less than the 10th day before the date of the scheduled hearing.

4. If you fail to cure the violation by the deadline set forth above, and do not make a timely written request for a hearing, we will contract a company to perform the work and, if applicable, suspend your amenity center privileges, and/or refer the matter to the Association’s attorney for further action.

5. All fees and costs associated with these services will be charged to your assessment account if the above-described violation continues after the deadline set above for compliance.

If you have any questions, please call at any time. (end)

SO, what have we learned?

1. The HOA has enough scratch to hire lawyers to write legalese regarding the state of my lawn, but not enough to hire a copyeditor. It’s money well spent, I promise.

2. If we mow our lawn by Oct. 2, we still might have to schedule a hearing with the board. (We did, btw.)

3. If we don’t mow our lawn or schedule a hearing by Oct. 2, we might not get invited to the June Jam at the pool and might get referred to an attorney. So we might actually have to pay lawyer fees BECAUSE THE GRASS IS TOO HIGH.

I am not making this up. I hate my HOA, and this is why.

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