Sunday, December 16, 2012

Heaven help us

Heaven help us. Not since 9-11-01 have I seen anything so horrible. In many ways this surpasses 9-11-01. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was not the result of foreign terrorists—neither was Clackamus Town Center in Portland, OR, or Aurora, CO, or the Sikh Temple in WI, or other domestic mass murders. We’re doing this to ourselves.

I agree with President Obama. “We have been through this too many times. … These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. … We're going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

As US bishops pointed out in their 1994 pastoral letter about violence in our nation (, there is much that needs to be done on a wide variety of fronts to change the culture of violence in our country; but, we can start by taking weapons that are meant for military and law enforcement out of the hands of those who aren’t military or law enforcement. This will make some people angry (notably the NRA and its extremist supporters); but, so be it. 

Mr. President, I support your using your executive powers, or any other power at your disposal, to ban the possession of assault weapons by any other person than military or law enforcement personnel. It’s past due time to stop the madness.

We live in a representative democracy (Republic) where the will of the majority should prevail. If the majority wants to ban private ownership of assault weapons, then they should be banned, regardless of what my individual position, the NRA’s, or the position of any other individual, lobbyist, lobbying group, or political party in the minority may be. Majority rules--period--move on to the next problem.

I spent most of my career designing highway improvements for VDOT and other state and local governments. Regardless of how bad the traffic, and how badly the project was needed, it seemed that there was always at least one property owner who didn’t want to sell their property. (Can you imagine, with the ever-increasing number of vehicles and drivers, if no improvements to the roadway system were ever made?) Fortunately, public agencies have a way of dealing with this—eminent domain. For the good of the majority, the desires of the minority are overruled; that’s the way that government representing the will of the people is supposed to work.

Whether it’s banning private ownership of assault weapons, improving roadways, raising taxes, decreasing benefits and/or raising the eligibility age for Social Security or Medicare, or any other issue that affects us all, once the people have spoken, and the majority says “do it”, then it should be done, regardless of the minority.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pulte Homes & that sinking feeling

“I bought my townhouse in 2007 from Pulte Homes and at no time, when I was shown diagrams of the layout of the community, was I told of likelihoods of sinkholes,” Stella said.

“We have now been hit with two major sinkholes in the last two years that we have paid special assessments for. I want to know where Pulte is now. Do they not stand by their work and where they place their houses?

“This is not only a major safety hazard, but also affecting people’s financial livelihood. We should be getting help by Pulte in fixing this situations and we need answers on whether this is going to continue happening. I can’t keep paying an extra $400 a year for a sinkhole!”

Under state law, property insurers who pay claims for sinkhole-related repairs must file a report with the court clerk’s office detailing the incident. According to Clerk of the Circuit Court David Ellsperman’s staff, 15 such claims are on record since December 2010 for the Red Hawk and Saddle Creek portions of Fore Ranch.

None have been filed to date for the Wynchase incident.

Valerie Dolenga, a regional spokeswoman for Pulte, explained that the builder continues to build and sell at Trillium, and that the homeowners’ association there is still developer-controlled.

Fore Ranch, in contrast, was turned over to the residents, she added."

Homeowners, You may want to look into reports of a HUD/FBI investigation into Pulte's alleged failure to report known "adverse conditions and foreseeable hazards" on required HUD forms for their Fairhaven development in Schertz, TX. Pulte houses there have failed due to poor soils and resulting extreme settlement.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Pulte Homes' serious quality control problems"

This understatement comes all the way from California:

Pulte Homes Complaint by Dusty Rhodes 

"The Del Web Sun City Shadow Hills complex in Indio continues to have serious administrative and quality control problems. The re-work and repair crews fail to show for appointments or in the latest instance arrive 7 hours early waking us up. No one seems to be checking or doing follow up on the subs."

BUT, Pulte Homes claims: "Life tested home designs, unwavering commitment to quality and attention to detail."

From Canada to Mexico, and coast-to-coast, Pulte Homes has "serious quality control problems"MANY are documented here in  peretired.blogspot.comDon't sign a contract for a new house with a builder with a reputation for "serious quality control problems"You'll be sorry if you do.