Funny Neighbor Stories
Summerville, SC — A Confederate battle flag flaps from the porch alongside an American flag. A sign on the metal fence reads “Confederate Boulevard.” The small coupe in the driveway is emblazoned with Confederate symbols. Right in the middle of Brownsville, the historically black Summerville neighborhood — “the very heart of the black community in Summerville,” in the words of Town Councilman Aaron Brown.
The symbols began going up about a month ago, a month or so after new residents moved in, neighbors said. The people who live around the home are outraged. Others in the community roll past in their cars, staring in disbelief. This is a community where crosses were burned years ago, neighbors said.
The residents said they understand that some people consider the flag and other insignia symbols of heritage, but to the community the connection is to slavery, servitude, lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan. “This is a close-knit community. It’s in turmoil now. (The resident) should have been more sensitive to where she moved,” said Patterson James, who lives next door. “She told me, at least she doesn’t have Hell’s Angels stuff flying.”
The flag and other symbols are part of a yard festooned with a wooden bald eagle sculpture on the mailbox, a red, white and blue eagle decoration hanging from the tree and signs posted around the electrified fence that read, “Posted Private,” “No Trespassing,” and warn people that they risk their lives by approaching.
A woman who came to the door at the home would not give her name. “We’re all human and we can make issues with whatever you want. But I don’t tell them what to hang in their yard and they don’t tell me what to hang in my yard,” said the woman, who is white. “I’m not trying to make issues. That’s not a rebel flag. It’s a Confederate flag.”
Community leaders are worried about a potential for violence if emotions get too heated, Brown said.
“You’re going to come into the middle of a black community and put up a Confederate flag? That’s not even common sense,” said Rollins Edwards, the former town and Dorchester County councilman, who lives a few doors down from the house. “We’re not going to have that,” he said. “We’ve got to get that thing out of the way.”
“She’s a nice lady,” said Wanda Duberry, who lives next door to the resident. “She says it’s not hatred, it’s heritage. Everybody’s got their own preferences. But considering the situation with the Confederate flag, I believe it should be out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind.”
CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — A problem dismissed by the Cape Elizabeth Town Council two years ago is back on the table after neighbors couldn’t resolve a dispute over a crowing rooster. Councilor Kathy Ray brought up the problem at Wednesday’s council workshop after receiving a letter from Joe Gajda, who lives at 15 Farm Hill Road.
On Wednesday, Gajda said he has made many failed attempts to have his neighbor, Pat Kennedy of 17 Farm Hill Road, quiet a crowing rooster. But because there is no noise ordinance governing roosters, Gajda asked the council for an ordinance banning roosters on small, residential lots.
On Thursday, Kennedy said he didn’t know his neighbors took the issue to the council. “I wasn’t aware [Gajda] had gone to the Town Council,” Kennedy said. “He asked me to get rid of [the rooster], and that upset me.”
Gajda said lots in his neighborhood are less than a quarter of an acre, which makes it very easy to hear Kennedy’s rooster, which crows throughout the day, starting in the early hours. “If the rooster decides to start its day at 4:30, I start my day at 4:30,” Gajda said. “There’s no chance and no choice.”
Gajda said his family’s quality of life is affected, and other neighbors who addressed the council on Wednesday agreed.
“The noise is very loud and anything that can be done to protect the silence would be appreciated,” Farm Hill Road resident Troy Clark said. Kennedy said he has measured the noise level of his rooster’s crow at 60 decibels. He said that is lower than the sound measured from crows and songbirds.
“The issue to me is if my rooster is quieter than crows and songbirds, will they ban those too?” Kennedy said. “I think there should be an across-the-board decibel level.” In March 2012, after similar noise complaints, the council considered an ordinance that would have restricted roosters. But the matter was dropped after the “rooster in question” disappeared.
On Wednesday, councilors said this seems like a problem that may occur again if not addressed now. “Quite frankly, I have no sympathy,” Kennedy said. “This is a free country. If you don’t like it, tough luck.”
In his letter to councilors, Gajda suggested that a half acre or one acre be the minimum lot size required for having a rooster. He said he does not want to restrict the town’s farming and agriculture community. Gajda said he owns backyard chickens, which are used for their eggs. He said Kennedy’s rooster has been a problem for the past two months, and has even attacked his hens.
Gajda and the other neighbors said they have asked Kennedy to fix the problem, but that he refused. Kennedy said that’s untrue. “The whole culture in Cape is ‘let’s talk to each other and complain rather than go directly to the person we have a problem with,’” he said.
The neighbors said they have called the police multiple times, but that nothing can be done because rooster noise isn’t covered under existing laws against disturbing the peace or for animal control.
“My hope is that the town will acknowledge that keeping a rooster is not an appropriate choice in residential areas,” he said. “None of the neighbors want a fight. We just want our peaceful environment back.” Kennedy said he will stand his ground. “It’s silly. At this point [the neighbors] are being stubborn and obnoxious,” he said. “Who the hell are you to tell me I can’t have a rooster?”
In North Dakota, though, one woman is seemingly willing to spend the rest of 2013 pulling toilet paper off of her roof because she’s handing out notes to chubby kids to remind them that they’re chubby.
Seriously, a Fargo woman plans to give notes to children who appear “moderately obese” in hopes that the message will shame their parents into rationing their supply of Halloween candy.
PUYALLUP (WA.) – A 20-year-old man has been booked into jail for the suspected hash oil making operation that set off numerous explosions outside of a Puyallup home Tuesday night.
He’s facing several charges, including reckless endangerment. Police and fire department crews responded to multiple reports of explosions in the 1500 block of Shaw Road just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.
“There were huge fire bombs,” said Morris Hernandez, a neighbor. “I mean massive. Yeah, it was crazy.” Police found the part of the house on fire and multiple explosions going off in the driveway area, Capt. Scott Engle reported. There were numerous people at the home at the time of the fire and explosions. Several people fled the home as more police arrived.
Police said the people at the home had constructed a huge marijuana drug lab in their yard, using hundreds of cans of butane gas that blew up, with some landing up to 100 feet away. “The dangers of these is just out of this world,”said Engle. Drug agents tells us it’s the largest hash oil lab they’ve found, and they’ve seen plenty this year, with explosions and fires that have rocked neighborhoods around the state.
Despite the fire and explosion, no one was hurt, Engle said. Still, Morris Hernandez is troubled by the news of the hash lab so close to his property and what it means for the future. “I’m concerned for the community. I’m not sure the passing of this marijuana law is the best thing. I think it’s opened up a lot of doors.”
PORTLAND – Everyone knows that moving is a hassle, especially if you are moving the whole house, literally down river.
But it’s just another day for the folks at Ducks Moorage 11699 NE Marine Dr. At about 6 a.m. Wednesday, a crew pushed Ducks’ latest custom-built floating home into the water and readied it for a 12-hour trip down river.
By 8 a.m. startled neighbors, seeing a house floating down by the Glenn Jackson Bridge, started calling around to make sure someone’s home hadn’t broken lose. “It’s not something you see every day,” said Duane Dominguez of nearby Columbia Ridge Marina.
The 2,000 square foot, single-story home costs about $229,000. On Wednesday it headed down the Columbia and down the Willamette to its final moorage at Rocky Pointe Marina, according to Denise Olson at Ducks.
Though the home is custom-built, it doesn’t have any fancy features like a trap door you can fish through or an underwater fireplace. “It’s just a nice home for a couple to live in,” Olson said.
The company builds floating homes from the modestly scaled to $1 million, multi-story houses. Olson said business is picking up and that’s keeping them and a host of subcontractors busy. “It takes a lot of river rats to get something like this going,” Olson said.