August 15, 2013 |
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns. Some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court refused Monday to hold up extension of the Expo Line to Santa Monica for further review. The state high court's fractured decision was a loss for a group of homeowners associations that had argued the project's environmental impact report failed to comply with state law. The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority approved the rail line from Culver City to Santa Monica even though the review of...
August 2, 2013 |
Question: I am on my association's board of directors. At our last board meeting our current management company presented the board with a "questionable" contract, one that would supersede the present contract that is presently in force and unexpired. After briefly looking over the questionable contract, I found several items that the association could be sued for, and other items directors could be sued for personally by owners. When I brought this to the president's attention during the meeting, he said he would sign it anyway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2013 |
Natalie de Blois' pioneering path through the male-dominated world of architecture was laden with sexist barriers. Despite her status as an associate partner at the Chicago powerhouse Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the 1960s, de Blois invariably was left behind when meetings broke up. "Natalie used to tell stories abut how they would break for lunch and then the male partners would take the clients to an all-male club and she couldn't attend....
July 28, 2013 |
Question: The board sent letters to owners saying the association is replacing wood fencing with vinyl fencing. Owners were not given a chance to vote or choose the replacement fencing. The association pays for outside fencing around individual small backyards, but says any fence replacements between neighbors' units must be paid for by the unit owners. At $600 per gate, we're told vinyl gate replacements are cheaper than wood and will last forever. The board warned owners not to put a barbecue within a foot of the vinyl fence because the fence could melt and the owner will have to pay for a new one. Do owners have to pay for fencing or gates?
July 19, 2013 |
Question: I've been president of our homeowners association for several years. We have fewer than 20 units and have managed to keep our HOA dues low at around $330 a month, mainly because we don't have earthquake insurance. We've saved a lot of money because we haven't paid for earthquake insurance for more than 15 years and have been very lucky. Do we have to get it? Answer: With one earthquake, your luck may run out. However, after 15 years of savings, and in the best interests of the association, the board should have been depositing those savings in an interest-bearing bank account.
July 12, 2013 |
Question: Our homeowner association's directors have attorneys telling them they can do whatever they want because they are the board. Distrusting the board, I went to the office to inspect documents and found an agreement dated February 2007 for a loan for more than $3.3 million the board had taken out without the knowledge of owners. I purchased my condominium in 2007 after the loan was taken out. I believe that this obligation should have been disclosed during my purchase. While in escrow, I had only two weeks to review my condo documents, which stated, among other things, that there was $2.05 million in reserves.
June 21, 2013 |
Question: In my capacity as board director, I sent a certified letter to the association manager asking where our homeowners association files are kept. The letter notified him I intend to inspect the files and the premises because the address given to our association as management's "corporate" address is nothing more than a mail drop. He quoted California Corporations Code section 8334, stating "a director may inspect the physical properties of the corporation of which that person is a director," and then said I wasn't a director of his management corporation so I can't look at the association's files that are at his house.
June 20, 2013 |
Aaron Hernandez has not been named a suspect in a homicide of an associate, but media reports continue to swirl around the New England Patriots tight end. According to a report Thursday by ABC News, a video surveillance system in Hernandez's home was intentionally smashed, and a cellphone used by him was handed over to investigators “in pieces.” The report, which cites anonymous sources, said police also want to know why a crew came Monday...
June 14, 2013 |
Jordan's King Abdullah II has a lot on his plate. Not only is the kingdom hosting nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees, the economy is deteriorating, there's serious unrest in the southern town of Maan, plus persistent protests related to a widespread perception of officially sanctioned corruption and burgeoning domestic opposition to the U.S. deployment of troops and F-16s to protect Jordan from violent spillover from Syria. The palace has pursued some savvy initiatives to insulate the nation from these challenges, including seeking U.S. loan guarantees to float a Eurobond, securing a $2-billion IMF loan and taking very public preliminary measures to fight corruption.