Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Neighborhood Law by Cora Jordan & Emily Doskow - a review

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My neighborhood is diverse in many, many ways. One is in how people respond to problems or possible problems. Some can watch a person being beaten and not call 911, but call the police because five 10-year- olds are riding bikes on an empty street. A neighbor will call code enforcement to report that a neighbor left her garbage bin out overnight while he himself leaves his on the curb 24/7. My advice is, talk with the neighbor first – by phone or in person – in a civil, friendly tone. Don’t jump to calling city departments right away. And better than anything, I hope you’ve tried to build a friendly relationship long ago before you ever got to know each other’s personalities.

People and situations not being perfect, NEIGHBOR LAW: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise, by Attorneys Cora Jordan and Emily Doskow, offers real solutions to common problems. The substance of the book doesn’t become stifled or diluted because of varying state or city laws. Doskow and Jordan offer common sense, step by step advice in logical sequence with practical, easily applied examples of letters and conversations. The appendixes and Index provide state and legal resources, with a web site for updates. If friendly dialogue and attempted resolution doesn’t work, the reader is taken to the next level with suggestions of what statutes, laws, or legal contacts or actions might help.

I serve on the board of my district community council board, and attend the monthly community meetings where residents bring problems that range from noise, disintegrating retaining walls, and junk cars, to meth labs, guns, and vandalized vacant houses. Very few attempted resolutions seem to have started with a civil conversation. I realize that sometimes fear is an uninvited guest, and all too often, it’s not clear in some neighborhoods who actually lives, owns, or is responsible for a house, especially a rental which a German bank owns.

Given all that, I very highly recommend Neighbor Law as a reference handbook for any community group, neighborhood mediator, or just easy, helpful reading to be a more informed, understanding, and proactive resident.

State statutes, general laws, common sense guidelines and reasonable use guidelines are offered for various situations and disputes , including unclear boundary lines, overhanging trees, animal issues, ‘attractive’ nuisances, fences, and noisy neighbors. When things go too far, there is a section on restoring relations. Whether you live in a bungalow on Primrose Lane, a McMansion in Andover, a farm in Forest Lake, or you are one of 300 apartment units on McKnight, you are someone’s neighbor - buy the book and first read the tips on building community.

Now, please excuse me, I really need to read the section on secondhand smoke.

Thank you, Cora Jordan and Emily Doskow, for helping maintain a higher quality of neighborhood life!
sh 6/11/11 ( )

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A few bits and pieces

I have no idea how anyone could be bored or have 'nothing to do'. I would at first say that it's especially living in St. Paul, or as Sam would know, living in NYC. But even when I lived in Iowa, unemployed at first and knowing absolutely no one, once fixing a schedule to keep me sane, I could always find something to do.

I have an occasional downstairs neighbor who comments 'do you EVER sleep?' Well, yes, but have you ever been in bed, sometimes awaken with a great idea and just have to start putting it into place?

The last few months have been very busy. I was thinking I'd have a few quiet months before summer, but not so. I have learned so much about the St. Paul city CIB program; I'll write the process I've learned in a different blog. It went from something with many attached misconceptions on my part, to quickly writing a proposal, to seeing how the community task force works, to planning a neighborhood workshop so other people have the information I didn't.

Neighborhood kids have visited more this winter than last; I've learned more about bicycles than I ever thought I would; the girls want a mostly girls summer. I don't know - girls are so high maintenance. Boys can be a little bit crude at times, but they are so much easier going.

I have been away from Door County for way too long and need to visit very soon. My brakes need work and I need a little money to do that.

I need to visit with Aunt Cleo. I miss her. I need to at least call soon. I need to write more letters to everyone.

Thursday evening, Murphy, four now? said we need to do some street clean-up. I had been thinking that too, Murph. So Friday I picked up a rake and some garbage bags. From almost 6pm to about 9, Kari, Kate, Murph, Abigail, Alma, Francisco, Jesus, Sam, Jose, KayLynn (sp) Jeff and I raked, swept, scooped and picked up. We filled, what, six big garbage bags and 12 big orange city bags. When the street sweepers come in a week or two, their job will be so much easier and less waste will enter the sewer to the Mississippi. I was achy, but it felt so satisfying.
Then Kate's brother and uncle had grilled ribs and chicken for a nice late supper, and a visit with Kate, Mel, Jill and some wine...a nice evening.

The next day, Saturday, was the City DFL endorsing convention. I couldn't get the kids to go. I thought they might enjoy it. I've always loved the DFL process. This morning I kept my apheresis appointment, but the nurse said she nicked the vein, tried to move it around, but the clotting had already begun; tried another vein, couldn't get any saline in. The bruise is forming, and none of us thought to go to a one-needle apheresis instead of my usual two. I'll make another appointment when the bruise heals. It did open two hours for me this morning. I went to Byerly's for lemon ricotta pancakes...lovely.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Visit 'walkonmyearth.blogspot.com'

...for new continuation.
I will gradually move most of this to

Friday, August 8, 2008

moving on...

I've set up the beginnings of a new blog. I wanted one that was a bit more personal and not connected to the library....Like moving from one city to another or one apartment to another, I'll take along some 'things'; more of a 'copy and transfer'. I'll still check in here - always learning more from 'things on a stick'.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I haven't been here for a while - life has been hectic. I plan to redo/move/change my blog in the near future; I've found that I do enjoy it...maybe it's vanity, maybe just easy access when I don't have time to take pen to paper, which is my preference for 'journaling'. There's one....the 'verbing' of a noun and then putting quotes around it to demonstrate I know I'm doing it, slightly disapprove, yet rather like it.
My apartment was on the weekend's Mpls/St. Paul/Dayton's Bluff house tour. I'm exhausted and aching with having power-cleaned and crammed 'stuff' into hidden nooks and crannies; there's only so much storage in any apartment, though mine is rather large by urban standards. Over 100 people came through on each day to see the architectural details of the 1888 Victorian. At least, thanks to LibraryThing.com, my books are always in order! There would be six people standing in my bathroom and I would suddenly notice a spot on the tile I had missed...details!
I tend to be a bit of a slob when home alone. My son is visiting with his partner at the end of May and somehow I have to maintain the neatness - for a whole MONTH until they arrive!
Sam manages a restaurant in NYC and is vegetarian (does now eat fish). I had taken him to Vincent's (excellent in every way) and Ethiopian in the past and need some new suggestions on other restaurants in either Saint Paul or Mpls. Yes to University Avenue's great ethnic selections.
Let me know of any favorites, please.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

This post has nothing to do with libraries or technology...just stopped in to say I'm out for a while, organizing Anoka County for AFSCME. It's exhausting, but inspiring; I'll be back at work next Tuesday. That's all I'll say about it right now, except I am driving through areas of Ramsey and Anoka Counties that I never would have had occasion to see. I have been through Forest Lake, Andover, Wyoming, Ham Lake, Lake Elmo, South Saint Paul, Vadnais Heights, Champlin, many more and some towns that I've never heard of...saw a multitude of horses today....I've been in towns with the usual street name categories: trees, presidents, flowers; today an area had streets named for and about horses: Thoroughbred, Appaloosa, Palomino etc.

On Sunday at dusk my union partner and I witnessed a wondrous sight: two massive deer crashed powerfully through the wooded and swampy area just twenty feet in front of us. We were out making house visits and had come to a home in a dead end. Two deer were rutting (is that the right spelling? I know nothing about deer) Three smaller deer were with them, and they suddnly disappeared in the field right in front of us - time to bed down...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

more about slide shows..

I really, really like the slideshow piece. Thank you, Julie S. for letting me know I could do a slide show using my Windows; thank you, Cindy H., for showing me how. Now I have a slide show of two blocks of houses in my Dayton's Bluff neighborhood to encourage change. The ongoing slide show will be the centerpiece of our neighborhood meeting tonight. I'll polish it later.