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Love thy neighbor?

Exhausted

My neighbors leaves the bathroom exhaust fan on all day?

I can’t figure out why, unless he smokes in his room or is growing some plants or something…

Not the biggest deal in the world, considering I live next to a loud street, but who wants to listen to the drone of a 20 year old fan all day at home?

Light Fight Gained National Attention

BY ROBERT STEWART
rstewart@theadvocate.com
December 19, 2013

Sarah Childs’ bright middle finger in Denham Springs has been put to rest.

Childs, who gained international attention for placing Christmas lights in the shape of a middle finger on her Starlite Drive home roof, said Tuesday that she removed the lights so she will no longer offend her neighbors.

Childs first lit up her roof more than a year ago, sparking a debate among her, her neighbors, the city and the ACLU over her rights to maintain the display.

Childs reinstalled the lights last week, stoking the fire again.

But Childs said she brought the lights down in the last couple of days — this time for good.

“It was just directed to one person,” she said. “I just didn’t want to offend the community anymore.”

Neighbors have appeared ready to put the situation behind them ever since the lights went back up. All but one declined comment when approached last week when Childs was on her roof designing her middle finger.

Todd Traylor, a neighbor of Childs’ on Starlite Drive who has expressed disgust in the past about the lights, was terse but sounded satisfied Tuesday when asked about the giant finger’s demise.

“Hooray,” Traylor said. “That’s my reaction.”

Traylor said he wanted to “let that story die” when asked for further comment.

Childs, the former Sarah Henderson, moved into the home in 2007 but moved out within the last year or so after divorcing her husband. But she still considers the home “half my house” and stops by from time to time to check on it.

Childs put the lights up for the first time after Thanksgiving in 2012, following long-standing arguments with neighbors, one of whom Childs accused of stealing her dog.

Childs has said she mounted the display as a way to express her anger.

Nearby residents expressed disgust at the bright middle finger and complained to police. Officers went to Childs’ house to ask her to take down the display.

Childs agreed to remove the finger, but she said a neighbor said something to her that irked her. So she decided to fight back.

The ACLU eventually got involved and sued the city, on Childs’ behalf, in federal court. A judge granted Childs’ request for a restraining order prohibiting Denham Springs officials from interfering with the lights.

The court case was settled in January 2013 , with city officials agreeing not to meddle with the display.

Childs kept the lights up until New Year’s Eve in 2012, when somebody tore them down. She has said she left them off until recent weeks, when personal issues have her frustrated again.

Childs reinstalled the lights on Dec. 9. But someone came by overnight and cut the lights down, tossing the strands in her front yard.

Childs was back at it the next day, replacing the finger and adding two more.

Childs has said she believes neighbors cut the lights down, though she has no proof it happened that way. She said she never contacted police about the lights being cut down.

Childs received a wave of negative criticism both nationally and internationally for the display, including a flurry of comments on The Advocate’s website and Facebook page.

Childs said Tuesday that she received even more threats when she reinstalled the lights.

But that’s not why she took them down, she said.

“I took them down just solely because it’s Christmastime, and my intent was never to offend my whole community,” she said.

This doesn’t mean everything is peaceful now between her and the neighbors, Childs said.

But the lights won’t show up again soon, Childs said. “It’s over,” Childs said with a sigh.

Daily I am surprised by a new inconsiderate act by our next door neighbors. There are two unwed daughters with multiple children living with their parents. They have a wide array of boyfriends and conduct their lives on the front porch. 8 a.m. shouting matches with a blitz of F-bombs in front of cringing school children is a regular event. They clean out their cars and throw the trash in my yard. They drink all night and throw the empty bottles into our yard – once
while we were sitting around the chiminea enjoying a camp fire! The bottle landed between my 3 yr old son and my 86 yr old neighbor. At this event I was driven to confront them and shouted out “Hey! That almost hit my kid!” They didn’t seem to hear me, but I heard the girl tell her boyfriend, “See? That’s what happens when you don’t go to the gym – your energy builds up and then you do this.” This neighborhood could be really nice, but these folks make it a dump, literally. I wish every day that we could move.

Boris Knott replies – Suggest you avoid confrontations and wait. This situation will clear up all by itself sooner than you think.

Life in the Fast Lane

My wife and I moved into the house we’re renting about 2 years ago. Everything seemed fine for the first few months. One day this old guy who lives down the road started yelling at us to “slow down.” The speed limit is posted as 5mph (on a hand written sign I might add.) We always crawl up to out house between 5-10 mph, which is slow enough. The way this guy acts you’de think we were flying into our driveway. One day my mother in law was visiting and this guy has the gall to flag her down and tell her she was going to fast. He is always- and I mean ALWAYS outside, walking around looking at the grass. It seems the grass is his purpose for living. Which brings me to the topic of our water bill. This guy waters the lawns NON-STOP around the loop that goes around our neighborhood, including his own lawn. The sprinklers are going day and night during the summer. This is a problem because our water bill is SHARED for everyone in the loop. So our water bills in the summer go from about $25 to $50-60 a MONTH because of this guy. All this fuels the fires and I just keep getting more resentful, I basically become a time-bomb because this guy is just going out of his way to provoke us. One morning I was on my way to work at 7:45. Not a soul in sight, as I’m creeping out of the driveway this guy comes literally running out of his front door and gives me the motion to “slow down.” That’s it- I am a very shy and quiet person. I go to great lengths to avoid conflict with people and this guy just keeps at it. I slam on my breaks and roll down my window. He looks like a deer in the headlights. I ask him: “did you just ask me to slow down?” He replies: “yes I did!” I scream at him: “I’m going 5 mph, SHUT THE F*** UP!” He’s like “just go” and I did. Fast forward alittle the guy keeps telling me and my wife to slow down. One day he’s out in his yard giving me the stink eye as I come home from work. I’m tired of feeling threatened in the place where I live so I walk down the road to talk to the guy. He freaks out , grabs a golf club and puts it my face. Completely ignoring my attempt to speak to him in a civil manner, this is the kind of behavior I would expect from a teenager- not a 60-70 year old man.    Well one of the reasons I went to talk to him that day was that he and the old man that live next to us (who are great buds of course,) decided to start playing this game of “what was my area to mow.” Previously I had just been mowing the entire area in front of my house. All of a sudden one day I see him mowing a line down our yard. “Okay..” I think to myself. I keep mowing as usual. A couple months go by and we get a letter from our landlord stating that we need to mow our ‘entire’ lawn or we’ll be fined $100. The old guy behind us decided to draw a imaginary line in his yard and that was suddenly my duty to mow. Would have been neighborly of him to let us know right? That would have defeated the whole purpose of their little game though. So I go to talk to the guy behind us about it. He acts all indignant and smugly states “that’s not mine to mow.” I could write another book about the grass drama but for the sake of brevity I’ll leave it at the basics. Needless to say this began our problems with the guy behind us. Now he makes a POINT of SLAMMING his doors whenever he comes or leaves. If he sees we are home he will literally just open and shut his door all day just to disturb us. He will get in his van and leave for an hour.. come back for 20 minutes.. leave again. This is a daily thing. He sporadically comes and goes on average about 3-5 times a day. If he hears us talking or quietly listening to music or our t.v. he will make a point to be extra noisy or pounds on his wall nearest our house. Needless to say we can’t even relax in our home anymore thanks to this guy. We are just stressed out and depressed about being stuck here. We are trying to save for a down-payment on a place of our own, but you know it’s tough these days for two people in there late twenties just to get by. The older generations are always generalizing about how the younger ones “don’t respect” them- but look at this ridiculous behavior! Not very mature or civil.

Sue Silly

I have been dealing with this guy for 4 yrs now. He is suing me and he has sued several other of his neighbors in the past. He always loses. He has also called every enforcement agency along with the town  to complain about me. the authorities always come out and never do anything because I haven’t done anything wrong. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks

You Do Do Something to Me

My parents and their 2 pups were visiting and the dogs must have pooped in the neighbors yard because this evening while taking out our garbage there were a bunch of dog turds on our driveway! They appeared to have been thrown, from somewhere. I take total responsibility for my parents dogs, but couldn’t they have just come and asked us to clean it up??? We also are new to the neighborhood, we just moved in a few weeks ago. What the heck??!!

Rural Sprawl

Me and my family have lived in our house for as long as I can remember on a quiet little dirt road. QUIET is not how I describe our road anymore! About two years ago a family of four moved in next door and have been absolutely … Well a rude neighbor!

I love animals but they went from two dogs to four. Must I add that they bark constantly; waking me and my family up early every morning with barks and whines and they do nothing to stop them! Sure nice to have that right next door, right? But wait there’s more! along with the barking dogs, fights, and disrespect we have had to put up with, they thing that we are the ones with the problem. We have talked to them numerous times and all they say in return is… I’m really offended by that. Really! Your offended?They have about 10 cars at their house at a time always going in and out playing music way to loud and don’t take care of their house! They have weeds growing out of their gutters and use their lawn as a parking lot for all of their cars, boats, water jets and more! I would say that if you were to ask what a rude neighbor is they would be the first thing you would see in the dictionary.

Bark It UP

Who needs an alarm clock? Our neighbors have at least three dogs, a chihuahua, rotteweiler, and in December got the cutest little pit bull! And how did they acclimate it to the outdoors? They let that pup freeze outside every night. And the poor thing would yap and yap. Every 20-45 minutes, day or night, they would come out and yell at it to be quiet, maybe gently tapping on it, not actually hurting it (yes, I could see this, as I actually cared about what was going on and looked). They may have kept it in at night for sleeping. Yes, back in December we actually got sleep! (forget it now, summertime!) Anyway, Animal control said this was normal in getting a dog used to the outdoors…Now, that cute pit bull sits on the other side of our fence, barking 30-60 minutes at a time, basically underneath our bedroom window. When I finally go out there to see what’s the matter, it starts looking at me and, as if finally the annoyance dared show its face, it barks much more ferociously–at me! Did you think this was the end, no no no. The morning time is not the only witching hour: try to sleep at night! Try to go outside and sweep or just enjoy the balcony during the day! Try to get the newspaper since you’re already awake (thanks, pup)! Try to have a conversation or watch TV indoors, even with the windows and all the doors closed. You will hear gool ol’ Alarm Clock, barking away, because you are an annoyance to its living. Forget who has rights! But if you walk by their house on the street, stay a good 20 feet away from their gate, the rottweiler will let you know you look tasty, and will try to jump and is gradually breaking down the wooden fence, and will eventually eat you. The neighbors never take these poor dogs on walks, no wonder the dogs are neurotic! And the neighbors, do they care? No, not a word. Time for a talk to the landlord. Or maybe the police.

 

Boris Knott replies – Tough problem-but a common one unfortunately.  Any suggestions from our readers?

Mowjo Flowin

received an anonymous letter in our mailbox the other day stating that we needed to mow our lawn and clean our flower beds. The author said they work hard to keep their lawn nice and don’t like that others don’t. We cut our lawn a week ago but because of the rain it grew. I find it rude that they could not come talk to us instead of sticking a letter in the mail.

It is not easy to know what goes on in the lives of others and what they are dealing with. In the past 1 1/2 years, my father died, family checking account got hacked, family members were hurt and issues at school concerning my child.

I find it sad how we barely know our neighbors, but we are quick to judge.

Barely Civil

Last Fall, my husband and I were walking our leashed dog on a public path when a neighbor’s two dogs (no collars) charged at us, growling and with teeth bared, from out of their unfenced yard. (Neighbors have had similar problems with these dogs before and after.) A young girl (daughter) had been playing with the dogs in the yard and we asked her several times to get control of the dogs, but she just laughed. . Now, several months later, the mother & father of the girl are walking by our house & trying to pick fights with us. I should ask them if they are still in junior high school, because this is the kind of behavior I would expect from children, not a middle-aged couple.