This page includes posts from October through December 2009, in the usual reverse
Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.
First laid out in the early 1960s, North Shores has a longstanding reputation as a place for the very well-to-do to enjoy the Delaware Beaches.
The Board of Governors for the community also has an equally longstanding reputation of doing what it can to preserve the private property rights of the folks who own a beach place there. These efforts include significant parking restrictions throughout the community, and vigorous efforts to keep their private oceanfront beach free of the footprints of those who do not own North Shores property.
Apparently that exclusionary attitude is not enough for some members of that community.
In Schneiderman et al. v. North Shores Board of Governors, Inc., a group of oceanfront property owners in North Shores are suing to block the use of dune crossings that the rest of the community uses to reach the beach. Among other allegations, they claim that these crossings could not be built without their approval, and they do not approve.
The dune crossings are about ten feet wide. Each one has a small wooden boardwalk to take North Shores owners and their guests across the dune line to the private beach.
These crossings are not that much to look at--here are photos of the crossings at Ocean Drive and Cedar, Holly, and Farview Roads.
According to the complaint filed in this case, however, these crossings are a real nuisance.
People using the crossing "talk to one another" while making the short hike to the beach, and some of these people also "gawk" at the oceanfront homes adjacent to the crossings. Furthermore, on some occasions folks allegedly hurt themselves while walking through these crossings, and then have the effrontery to "request aid" from the plaintiffs.
As noted above, the oceanfront owners alleged that their right to veto any construction on the North Shores beach extended to these dune crossings.
Chancery Court Master Sam Glasscock disagreed:
Therefore, Master Glasscock dismissed the property claim element of this lawsuit. As for the nuisance claims, however, the case is still alive:
If I had to guess, however, I would think that those not very neighborly elements of the Plaintiffs' claims will not be sufficient to meet their goals.
I'd be okay with that.
November 28, 2009
I took advantage of the day off on Friday to finally finish a book I'd been slogging through for the last few months, and which will have an honored place on the Mr. Happy Collection bookshelf.
Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed is the second of his books I have read, and it was more interesting from an immediate perspective than his prior work, Guns, Germs, and Steel.
"Collapse" outlines the history of several failed civilizations, including the Maya, Easter Islander, and the Norse Greenland colony. It then draws several potential lessons for today from those eventually bitter experiences.
I might quibble about some of what he argues about how a civilization can cause itself significant troubles, but the following passage seemed remarkably apropos of the current discussion over health care reform:
This risk of committing the sin of exclusion was not lost on James Madison, who wrote this passage about the House of Representatives while arguing for the adoption of the Constitution, in Federalist No. 57:
I put in bold the part of this excerpt that should be kept foremost in mind in thinking about health care reform, or any other massive Federal attempts at change.
Vigilance by the governed is the best possible source of protection from those doing the governing.
November 10, 2009
Revamping the home office has been on our schedule of fun things to do for a long while.
It was tops on the list, in fact, except for everything else we could think of doing instead.
Nonetheless, late this summer and early fall, we began the tortuous process of moving hundreds of books, recycling a few reams of no-longer-needed papers, going to furniture stores, and debating the merits of paint chips with names like Romance, or Stone 2.
I didn't see what Stone 1 looked like, but Stone 2 worked out well as the final selection.
During the book-moving part of the makeover, my wife asked me for a recommendation among those on the shelves. She was looking for a book that was different from her usual preferences.
I mentioned something, and she began to look over the shelves that held the books that were mostly mine.
As she studied the options, she became, as they say, a bit animated about the overall scope of the non-fiction, non-golf selections. She re-discovered that my reading interests are a mite bit severe, when viewed from one perspective.
With the office now finished, we put these particular books on a shelf, which we've now named the Mister Happy Collection.
See if you agree:
In my own defense, I should say that several of these books appeal to my conservative communitarian impulses. These include Death in Hamburg, The Great Influenza, Ship Ablaze, Rising Tide, and Isaac's Storm.
Allen Weinstein's Perjury, perhaps not so much. It's just a great history of a particularly nasty piece of treason.
November 10, 2009
Early mornings in the fall around here often include a surprise or two.
I'm up with the dog well before the rest of the occupants, and so I sometimes see stuff that just isn't around later in the day for the others to appreciate.
Or at least, it isn't quite so impressive looking, once the sun has risen past a certain point.
For example, one sunny weekend not long ago, this was the scene outside my home office window:
Somebody had been very, very busy the night before.
It probably ran out of web fluid at some point. Or perhaps the spider was on caffeine or other drugs, which can be impressive in their effects.
October 25, 2009
A new controversy that potentially implicated my writings on this blog and my golf-related website helped spur me to begin posting again here, after a work- and family-related hiatus.
It's about freebies and such.
I made it the subject of the main part of my weekly golf column this week, which is reprinted here below, but with hyperlinks added.
Hope you like it:
October 25, 2009
I took a break from writing for this blog for a while.
Did anything happen while I was gone?
I'm this close to kicking my PC with a size 10 Timberline boot, what with all the fun I'm having trying to make it work with a new wireless printer.
At the moment, I'm attempting an alternate route, in which the software will be installed on Dr. Schranck's notebook computer, which may be less balky.
In the meantime, here are links and the opening lines to the most recent golf columns, which you may enjoy while I continue to test what remains of my self-control:
Official small print disclaimer: This is, after all, a personal web site. Any opinions or comments I express here are my own, and don't necessarily reflect the official position of my work as a government attorney or any of my clients.
That fact may become obvious later on, but it needs to be said here anyway.
© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2009