Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I'm not betting

While driving to work this morning someone from the sheriff SIU (narcotics) unit finally returned my call from last week. Super nice lady. She had been out sick and just got back today. She was floored to hear about how much traffic we have on our little private road. Her words: "No one should have to live with that". She took down a bunch of details from me so she can write a report and give it to her boss, a Sergeant, and said we will get working on this. 

I'm not much of a betting person, but we appear to now have the possibility we might hit the trifecta! Drugs gone, junkyard properties cleaned up, and the vacant/foreclosed house around the corner possibly finally being sold! Then DH popped one of my balloons when he said that during that 2 hour conversation he had with junkyard/slumlord neighbor a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned he'd love to buy that foreclosed house around the corner for a rental........OMFG!! (yes, that was a swear word!).  That is all we need. Let's just hope he's too busy (and broke) in the near future with cleaning up the 3 properties he currently has, along with a drug bust, to buy that house. He will lose the rent his old guys that live on his property pay him, he would end up losing the rent from the drug dealers if and when they finally get busted.   He, himself, will have to live someplace, because there is nothing on his main property that can be lived in (once he gets cited by the county).  It's all going to be very interesting to see how it all shakes out.

He's on a mission

Our councilman called again yesterday afternoon. He as apparently made us his mission! He pretty much told DH *%$# is about to hit the fan.  Landlord property owner is going to get hit with numerous property code violations:  the single wide trailer (falling apart, windows broken and someone does actually live in the back end of it) will be condemned. He can't have himself and the others (our guess is 3 others, based on the cars that park there) living in the shop. It was never permitted for that and there is no septic system approved for that (the septic is some mickey mouse deal he rigged up with a hose into his regular septic system). Years ago another neighbor on the other side of him (she has long since moved away) reported him to the county when he built the shop and moved in. He just lied and said no one was living there, like he always does.There are containers on at least 2 of his properties, which apparently are not legal to have (not sure why that is, other than maybe because they are an eyesore).

While all this is good, unless the sheriff is going to step up their game big time, I don't see how any of the above will stop the drug dealing. If the single wide is condemned, most likely it doesn't have to be tore down, it just means the guy that has lived in it the past 15 years won't be living in it. It's still going to sit there. Without taking my own picture, here is one I grabbed off of google earth

A close up would of course show the condition of the trailer better, but in the back windows are broken, there is no skirting and it's all filthy dirty. The roof is terrible. At the current time there are even more junk vehichles/trailers out front and all the grasses in between are 2 feet high. On the back side is another old piece of crap camper trailer (that someone used to live in) and a couple of big piles of lumber or something covered in plastic and tarps (our barn kitties use it to hide under!).

Here is a view of his whole property. The tall trees in the mid lower area block the view off all the junk he has sitting in the middle of the property, but you can see a few pieces. More junk cars and trailers. I'm sure all that stuff will be part of the property code violations too.
on the other side of that big tree to the right of the shop is more stuff. That big container parked in front of the shop is now at the far end and an rv, with people living in it the past 2 months, is now parked in front of the shop. I think there is another camper trailer down there too.

Isn't it all just lovely? I can deal with his ugly property - what I can't deal with is 873 times of drug addict traffic past my house each month, to his renters, at all times of the day and middle of the night. But, maybe we'll get lucky - the drug dealing will get busted AND he'll have to clean up his properties! A girl can dream, right?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Councilman follow up

Ya'll are probably as sick of hearing about my neighbors as I am of living next to them. But, there finally seems to be a tiny ray of hope for us. I'm about to get my hopes up. Our councilman called again this morning. Wanted to see how the weekend went and had more questions for DH. DH told him there were 2 patrols through over the weekend and that helped a little bit. Councilman still feels the sheriff department is not doing their job. He did speak with someone from the sheriff and they told him they are watching the renters now. He also said he can't believe the condition of the 3 properties that our neighbor owns (as well as a few other neighbors in the area.) The properties of slumlord are full of overgrown grassy weeds 3 to 4 feet tall. The one guy that lives in back room of the original single wide trailer (that slumlord and his family originally lived in when we first moved here), on slumlords main property, can barely even get to the steps to his door, with all the overgrown weeds, LOL. Councilman says he doesn't have to have lawn or landscaping, but he also isn't allowed to have weeds growing all over like that. He's still going to work on getting code violations with that, the containers, and the un-permitted rv's that people live in.
He also said he is going on a ride-along with a deputy soon. Councilman's words to DH: we are going to fix this problem and we are going to fix it BIG!  Let's hope so and let's hope it's SOON! and maybe if slumlord starts seeing patrol cars around all the time it will give him even more incentive to get those renters to move out (like he said he is trying to do).

In other neighborhood news....when DD and I were pulling out Friday there was a work truck at the vacant/foreclosed house around the corner. Someone was up on the roof fixing where there has been a blue tarp covering about 1/3 of the roof for about the past year. Hmm...why would the bank bother fixing that to just let the house sit and rot? Then at lunchtime today we went to the store and there was a big truck with the whole back end filled, basically with garbage. Looked like a lot of boards, etc. The big door to the garage was open and it appeared they were in there cleaning out the house. Could it be that the bank is FINALLY going to get this house on the market?! I can't even imagine being in that house to clean up! Deputies that have been inside say it is filled with garbage, needles and even human feces. Can I hope and pray that it's finally going to be sold and someone living it? will it be too much to hope and pray it's not turned into a rental house and whoever lives in it are good decent people? It was such a nice rambler with a nice yard at one time. The first family that owned it for years and years were very nice and so were the last family that lived there.

A new wake up alarm

We have someone new in the neighborhood........a Rooster! The people in front of us, who have chickens, apparently now have a rooster, too. He's not too annoying, but I have a feeling roosters are not legal to have in this residential area. I can hear him when I wake up in the morning (and off and on during the day) but it doesn't wake any of us up. It's like he's still learning to cock-a-doodle-doo. LOL.

My boss extended her 3 day weekend another day and sent me a message to work from home today, if I want. Since I apparently did something to my back over the weekend and am still not comfortable, working from home sounds good today. I think the back mess up was from sitting on the bleacher seats at the horse races for several hours Friday night. We started out in these nice cushioned seats on track level, but people kept standing in front of us between races and we couldn't see the board or the horses being walked by, so we got up and moved out to the flat bleacher seats. I woke up Saturday hurting and just can't seem to shake it. I might have to make a trip to the chiropractor this week instead of my appointment next week.

I'd say our neighbor must have guessed the people walking around our property a couple of different times last Thursday were county folk. Saturday he loaded up his huge 1 ton pick up -it's huge - has a big flat bed and wood sides (they used to have a firewood business) with all the garbage from the renters place(s). It was literally stuffed and above the cab of the truck! I'll bet it's been a year or more since we last saw him fill up and go to the dump. How disgusting! That's his typical M.O. - tries to get cleaned up when he thinks the county might be investigating his properties.

And the neighbor on the property that is directly behind us and good neighbor? She just had a whole bunch of dog kennals brought in and set up. She's always had one big dog, who must live outside and barks loud, but only when someone is going back and forth to the last lot (also owned by slumlord neighbor) on that road. Now, there is at least one more dog there, with a super loud bark which also seems to echo now, because of the kennel, I assume. Our good neighbor - who's house sits at the back of his property (our sits toward the front) - he can really hear it and he's none too happy. He and DH were discussing it...DH telling him, ya - that's a loud dog and you know what good neighbor said?!!!!  "well, when you call it in........." DH was like "NOoooo! - I am not handling this issue. This one is your job to call in. I've been the only one reporting and dealing with the drug dealers for 2 years now and I'm not taking on dogs, too".  Besides, we are far enough away that it's not annoying us like it is our good neighbor. We keep our windows closed, he has his open for air. He will need to finally step up to the plate, if he doesn't like it.

The sheriff came through on patrol a couple of times this weekend. Friday night they came down our street and went down in front of renters and shined the spotlight around for a minute (just letting them know they are around). We had dead quiet peace for about the next 24 hours. Saturday night the deputies came down the main road that feeds into our neighborhood, shining spotlights on landlords place and the drug dealers behind us. Drug traffic was still heavy all day yesterday, though. Still no return call from the message I left with the narcotics SUI department. (what a surprise...). Lets just hope the county councilman keeps up with trying to resolve this and it doesn't end up put on the back burner because something else came along to take away his focus on our issue.

DD's boyfriend is starting the day shift with his job today. He's been really unhappy at his job the past month or so. Honestly, he's driving everyone crazy with all his complaining about it. Just about everyone is telling him to suck it up. He makes good money (for not having a degree), has great benefits, etc. I think his parents finally told him to either figure out a way to deal with it and stop complaining or move on and find a new job. Hopefully being on the day shift with a new boss and co-workers will fix the problem, though a lot of his problem is he does not want to work any overtime, which of course the boss(es) don't like. Day shift has o/t required on weekends sometimes, too. His parents (and us) just keep telling him to take advantage of the overtime! He is young and able and it's great money. Do it for awhile - that's what gets you noticed for other jobs that come up where he can start working his way up to even higher pay. 

I think it will be easier on DD with him having normal hours now. She has never been one to stay up late and with him getting off work at 11:30pm, she's always up late to text him, etc and of course on weekends he wants to be out late because he's used to not going to bed until 2am. Now she'll get to have a normal schedule too, which I'm glad of, especially when she starts back up at at school and she has an 8am class start time.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Target deals

I picked up a few good deals at Target today.  DD is taking the Swiffer sweeper we have for her new apartment, so I wanted to pick another one up....except I didn't think about it until we were at the store and could have brought a $1.50 off coupon with me. Oh well.  They had it on clearance for $6.98.  They also had refill packs on sale for 9.99 ea (28 count), buy 2 get a $5 Target gift card and I also had 2 $1 off coupons. Now we each have a large refill pack that will last quite awhile.

Two 30 count Quilted Northern toilet paper at $15.99 ea. I had 2 $2 off coupons! Plus a cartwheel extra 5% off. Buy 2 and get a $5 Target gift card. Always need toilet paper and was just about out from the last time I did this deal.

Gillette razor refills (DH was out) and $16.49 for a 5 count (razors are such a rip off!), plus I had a $3 off coupon. Buy razor refills and a razor, get a $5 Target gift card, so I bought myself a Venus razor on sale for $7.99, also with a $3 coupon.

Total cost - after my 5% red card discount - $66.32 AND I got $15 in Target gift cards.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Revisiting an old memory

DD and I had a fun evening at the horse races last night. She has never been before and it's something we've been wanting to do since last summer. It was still 95 degrees when we got there at 6:30 but thankfully the sun was behind the grandstands and we were at least in shade.

I have so many fun memories of going to the horse races with my family (and especially my dad) growing up. We lived near the track and it was a favorite thing of my dad to go do. Kids always get in free and I can remember all of us going, even my grandparents. I can remember several Mother's Day spent there. I'd give my mom or dad my $2 to bet for me, after picking out a horse. My dad taught me now to read the race program (he would buy the big program that looked like a newspaper) and how to read the race history of each horse. Back in the day, I can remember him on occasion getting home from work early on a weekday afternoon and we'd head over to the track (a 10 minute drive) and spend the afternoon, just him and me. One of my favorite last memories, before he passed, was he and I going to the race track while I was visiting them in Arizona one winter.

DD loved it. We didn't bet much. Usually just the minimum $2 bet along with a $1 bet on the exacta, which DD won one race - a whole $8.10 :-).  We took some sandwiches, crackers and drinks in a little cooler. I was going to park in general admission but it seriously was a VERY long walk, so I said forget that - we're paying the $7 for close parking! I wasn't walking that far in 95 degrees and then out that far at 10pm at night. $7 each to get in. DD came out ahead $3.70 and I lost $16. Can't beat that for an evening of fun.

Friday, July 31, 2015

A good politician

It's been an interesting couple of days around here. Monday and Tuesday the traffic count to renters house was over 50 and 60 per day/24 hours a day. As usual, we get nowhere with the dispatchers asking them to send a patrol car out. They want to refer us to the narcotics - which is just either an online reporting or leave a message on their phone drug tip line. We have done this regularly for 2 YEARS now. Nothing. Then they tell us if we want patrol we have to go over to the precinct and request it. When we do get a deputy out and talk with them, they all say "keep calling it in".....

So, Tuesday afternoon I went over to the precinct. I got the same front desk guy as last Jan or Feb when I went in for the same thing. He is pretty much worthless. Just sits there and nods at what I'm saying and give me no help. Tells me to report it to narcotics tip line. I said I do that constantly for 2 years now, apparently it goes into a black hole. Finally I kept pressing him for some sort of answer and he gave me a name and direct line to someone in the narcotics unit and advised the best day to call would be Thursday. Which, I did yesterday morning and had to leave a message and of course no return call. Then I pressed the issue of the dispatchers refusing to dispatch an deputy. I said "what do I do at 2am, when there is some strange person, usually with a backpack, walking up and down our private road and I don't feel safe that they are out there?!  He then said when speaking with the dispatchers to request to speak to a sergeant. I also said that we have not seen a deputy patrol our area for almost 2 months now.

In the meantime DH had decided to shoot another email to our county councilman's assistant. She was the one who set up the meeting a few months ago with the neighborhood watch organizer (who agreed that won't work in our situation). She is currently running for a county position. He wanted to let her know we voted for her and even though she (and her boss, the councilman) haven't heard from us recently, our drug problem is still as strong as ever.  He also gave landlord neighbor a courtesy call saying this is totally out of control the last 2 days. He must have talked to renters as that afternoon/early evening it really quieted down.....until around 1am when about 5 or 6 of the methheads were outside our gate just hanging out, making lots of noise and making gestures, as they know the cameras are there. A call to the non-emergency dispatch to request a deputy come out resulted is same as always, so DH requested a call back from a sergeant. When asked why, he said "because I do not feel safe for myself or my family and that is what the officer at the precinct told us to do". A minute later a regular deputy called back.

Yesterday morning, right after I left for work, DH sees this pick up driving slow down our street, stopping in front of our house, then stopped at the renters, came back slow, stopping again in front of our house. Then the phone rang. It was our district county commissioner.....outside on our street! He pulled in and talked with DH about the problem.  His first notice was all the illegal building code violations going on at renters and the landlords property directly on the other side of us. DH says, ya, we've tried that process but got nowhere, and he said, well, I sure can.  Then he said he was heading to a big county budget meeting (at the big new county facility near our house) and just wanted to see all this first.

Around noon DH gets a message from his assistant that the sheriff is also at this meeting and our neighborhood drug problem was brought up. Sheriff said they have added patrols now to our neighborhood.  Then around 3pm DH gets another call from the commissioner that he wanted to come back again and was bringing a code enforcement guy with him. They can see most of the problems from our property, without having to go onto the other properties. So, that is an angle that is being worked. He also said landlord will need a business license if he has rental houses.

It was a busy evening with drug traffic again last night, but it turns out one of the cars that drove by early evening was actually the commissioner out again! He was showing someone else the situation. DH is also sending him several of the pictures and videos from our security system showing all the traffic - one shows a drug deal done right in front of our good neighbors driveway.

I appreciate our councilman and the attention he is now giving our situation. Sadly, though, he also said our head sheriff is pretty worthless. Let's hope something gives and we finally get this resolved. These aren't just crappy neighbors - these are people breaking the law, day in/day out and getting away with it.