Monthly Archives: May 2013
CENTER CITY, Kansas (FNS) A new list of the Most Annoying People of 2013 saw some major changes in the list and a first with three individuals tied for first place. Fred Thompson, Henry Winkler and Robert Wagner were tagged numbers one presumably for their appearances in those ubiquitous reverse mortgage ads that play in almost every break on cable news and late night programs. Apparently the trio of B-listers have squandered what meager credibility they had by hawking the questionable loan schemes to elderly pigeons eager to cheat their heirs out of any equity value that may be in their homes. The three aging hucksters edged out such perennial annoyers as Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump. The complete list:
1. (tie) Fred Thompson, Robert Wagner, Henry Winkler
2. Kim Kardashian
4. Donald Trump
5. The Sham-wow Guy
6. Anyone on QVC
8. Sarah Palin
9. Rex Ryan
10. Al Sharpton
Other than the three numbers one, the only newcomer to the list was blowhard New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who promises his team’s fans a Super Bowl appearance year after year. Left off this year’s list was perennial annoyer Adam Sandler and the can’t-get-out-of-her-own-way queen Lindsey Lohan.
Back to reverse mortgages: the loans themselves, often formally referred to as Home Equity Conversion Loans, are rated just below chain letters, for their honesty content. A recent survey by the watchdog group Citizens Resolutely Against Perfidy (CRAP) found that 72% of those surveyed thought reverse mortgages were a scam. Overall, reverse mortgages were viewed slightly less favorably than pyramid schemes. CRAP spokesperson Heidi Hoe declared, “These people (reverse mortgage sellers) thought they could slide by with this stuff. They didn’t think we were watching. But they don’t know CRAP. We’re everywhere.”
WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (FNS) House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner wept openly following a press conference called by House Democrats to draw attention to the U.S. improving economic outlook. “I can’t stand it,” the speaker was overheard saying to associates, “We were so close. Everything was crappola, perfect for us. And that damn asshole Romney blew it. What are we going to do now? The Dow is at an all-time high. Consumer confidence is up. Unemployment is dropping like a rock. If this keeps up there’ll be no bad news to run on. Talk about bad luck.”
Spotting the reporters nearby, Boehner press aide Mike Rafone excitedly explained that what the speaker meant was that the economy only looks good. There is danger lurking in the numbers. “People see these numbers and they begin to believe Obama knows what he’s doing. They start to think his policies are working. Next thing they’ll want to raise taxes. “Raise taxes on the rey-ich. Raise taxes on the rey-ich.” They sound like Gomer hollering at Barney. “Citizen arrey-est. Citizens arrey-est.”
According to RNC Chairperson Dunce Primus, “We need distraction. We can’t let Americans focus on the economy and employment. We need investigations and hearings, things like that. Drag out the Benghazi thing. Blow up the IRS focus on Tea Party groups. The main thing is to make Obama look bad and make Hillary unelectable for 2016. If we can’t get the economy to tank, this stuff is next best.
Returning to Boehner, the speaker lamented, “We’re the party of God. We’re the Christian right, for God’s sake. We’re a prayerful group and I pray for a downturn nightly, that we Republicans might prevail in the mid-term elections. But day after day we get more and more good economic news. Sometimes I wonder just whose side God is on.”
by Buz Whelan
After the traditional call to order, pledge of allegiance and acceptance of the previous month’s minutes, President Alex Leslie gave his President’s Report. Mr. Leslie thanked Director Margaret Fitzgerald and all who assisted her for the organization of the Relay for Life, to be held that evening and night, and for meeting the fund raising goal of $3,500. Mr. Leslie also announced that the board was adopting a new and revised collection procedure, prepared with the cooperation of the association attorney. The essentials of the procedure provide for a series of notices and deadlines, with a penalty fee of 2.5% of the money owed initially charged at the time of 10 days delinquency. A series of steps that include notices that all fees assessed by the association attorney will be added to the monies owed. At the 90 day mark (of delinquency) the attorney will take charge of the account and all further communications shall be between him and the delinquent member. At the 105 day mark a Notice of Claim of Lien will be recorded and the member notified. Should the delinquency continue, all legal remedies, including the filing of suit will proceed according to the best interests of the association as determined by the attorney in consultation with the association general manager. This procedure was formally adopted by resolution passed under New Business.
Treasurer Earl Frank reported that $1.394M in dues has been collected for fiscal year 2012/2013, now closed out. This is down from $1.440M collected for fiscal 2011/2012. While Mr. Frank reported that we are under budget in spending in all departments except the Emerald Bar & Grill, the growing delinquency rate is our most serious financial problem. He expressed some hope that the new, more aggressive collection policy would stem this trend. Member Pat Galderisi and Director Joe Miller both stated that the association should be going after bank owners who have seized ownership through foreclosure. They should be required to pay dues and maintain their properties according to the same standards to which individual homeowners are held. Failure to do so should result in citations.
Following the Treasurer’s Report the manager reported that all dams have been inspected, with reports to follow. Permits have been received for bog removal in East and West Emerald Lakes, though no schedule for the actual work is currently available.
During the Committee Chair Reports section of the meeting, Finance and Planning Chairperson David Pope reported that his committee is working toward a recommendation for increased revenue to be presented at the Annual Meeting. Several levels and types of increases are being examined, from a simple set increase in dues to several types of multi-year escalators. These will be hashed out at a special F&P meeting to be held the week of May 19-25 at a time TBD.
Director Carmen Broadnax reported that the Nominating Committee is currently emailing invitations to run for the board to all committee members and that notices will be on the website and in the next edition of the Emerald News. Several members present reported that they had received the email solicitations.
Appeals Committee Chairperson Paul Capozzoli reported that two appeals had been postponed until next month.
Author of this story Buz Whelan, reporting as a “committee of one” told the assembly that the May 4th Comedy Night earned over $1,100 in ticket sales and did more than $1,000 in food and beverage business.
ELDAS liaison, Buz Whelan reported several recommendations from the society to the board. Among these was a suggestion that the Communication Committee assign someone to take pictures of all committees, publish them in the paper, on the website and in an Annual Meeting program. It was also suggested that the recognition plaques for past presidents and volunteers of the year be moved from the admin bldg to the Community Center where they would be more visible to members. Another suggestion was to obtain an estimate for the cost of updating all ID badges. During this process, census data could be taken since all members would have to participate in the updating. The ELDAS members are also willing to volunteer to serve as liaisons, freeing up directors who often must serve as liaisons to multiple committees. And lastly the society recommends that planning begin for a series of events to be held during our upcoming 40th anniversary year.
Under New Business, Secretary Carmen Broadnax read a resolution to approve the purchase of a new public safety vehicle. The motion included make and model, amount of purchase, and selected bidder. It was for a Ford Explorer, and Ray Price Ford, the middle bidder in terms of amount, was named as the seller. It was explained that the vehicle being replaced was also a Ford Explorer and that Price Ford was the closest bidder, a supposed advantage for service needs. At this point Director Joe Miller objected. He reasoned that a Ford Escape could perform public safety tasks equally well, would get better gas mileage and would cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 less. He further reminded the room that a vehicle can be serviced, including warranty work, at any same brand dealership, regardless of purchase location. Gallery member David Pope echoed Miller’s opinion, as did numerous directors and members who followed. The matter was finally removed from the table for future consideration and discussion.
Resolutions to adopt a new committee procedures manual and new collection procedure, previously cited, were passed.
Director Miller then went off the agenda to bring up outdoor pool maintenance for discussion. Miller’s point was that the work had not been approved by board motion nor had the work been put out for bid. He objected to the GM’s selection of a vendor to begin the work, currently under way, without these elements. He asked Mr. Roth for the expected cost of the work, which was not immediately available (the 2013/2014 budget lists estimated cost at $20,000).
During Public Comments, several members (whose names we are withholding) complained that a home on Doe Drive is unsightly, with much debris, junk and bags of garbage strewn about. They also state that there is constant traffic in and out of the home with short term visits occurring at all hours. The CEO will check for the unsightly premises, but it was recommended that regional police be contacted regarding the frequent short visits.
Several residents of Seneca Court, formerly North Glade Court, complained that their road is virtually impassible, with mud pits and ruts and a complete lack of gravel. The GM will look into possible relief.
Director Margaret Fitzgerald ignited a furious exchange over the early closing of the Emerald Bar and Grill on Friday, May 17th. Apparently a large contingent of folks who had attended the bonfire on Pine Tree Beach decided to top off the evening with a drink or two at the bar. Arriving at about 9:15 they were told the bar was shortly closing and they could order a single drink. Various reasons were given including slow business and possible intoxication of patrons. After much ado, protestations and a visit by the board president, they were escorted out by public safety before 10 pm. President Leslie took full responsibility, promised published hours would be adhered to in the future and agreed that it was important to do so.
Heidi Castro of Cedar Drive reported a creeping wetland in her backyard, fearing it could reach the house. She has contacted the Army Corps of Engineers and was told it was a local matter. GM Allen Roth will look into it.
Finally, there was a comment about the failure of many homeowners to post the new address signs required by the county. The problem as stated was that even if a particular homeowner is in compliance, failure by his neighbors could slow emergency vehicles as the approach that location without progressive signage. It was suggested that Rules and Regulations ‘address’ the address problem.
We went to the Community Center on Saturday to see Comedy Night 4, hosted by our own Buz Whelan and featuring
Host Buz Whelan started things off, giving the audience a chance to decide on which of three levels of comedy they wanted from mild to hot. Not surprisingly, the vote for hot was near unanimous. After making a generous offer to test any suspected drugs for parents and doing about 10 minutes of material to get the audience warmed up and laughing he introduced his first comic, a surprise addition to the night’s lineup.
The bonus act was former cop and high school social studies teacher, Jeffrey Paul, a relative newcomer to the NYC comedy circuit. He left his teaching job in Staten Island to hit the stage in Manhattan where he swiftly made a name for himself in many of the city’s most renowned venues, including Stand-Up NY and the New York Comedy Club. His delivery and life stories got the crowd started quickly, and we all roared when he described his son’s reaction to his philosophical questions. Jeffrey Paul was a wonderful surprise addition to this evening’s line-up, and we look forward to hearing more from this rising star.
Next up was our old friend Tommy Gooch, who has graced our stage before. This comedy veteran’s talent for playing with the
audience led us to some really hilarious moments. Warning – don’t ever let Tommy catch you texting at his show; you may as well paint a target on your forehead. And when our server scurried across the front of the stage to retrieve some empty glasses, he pulled her right up in front of us all and made her part of the act. The Gooch is a very busy comedian, with dates all over the Northeast in the coming months, and Emerald Lakes is very lucky to have him return year after year, and we certainly hope to see him again next year.
The headline act of Comedy Night 4 was Johnny Watson. You may have seen Johnny on Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, or Comedy Central. Johnny describes himself as what it would look like if Clay Aiken
banged Jon Bon Jovi and, from the laughter, it was clear the audience agreed. In between dispensing advice about selecting a wife and reminiscing about candy cigarettes, Johnny had a turn at the audience too, finding ways to poke fun at the audience members and keep us all laughing. Check out Johnny’s radio comedy show, Watson N Watson, in which he battles with his mother on all sorts of topics.
Buz Whelan, “it’s okay to like me now, I am not on the board anymore.” And he asked if we thought this
was more fun than an annual meeting. It certainly was, and I think there were more people there than at some of our annual meetings, too. Thanks to Buz for all he did to organize and bring this event to our community; I look forward to next year.