Looking for positive reinforcement from HOAs

I've come to very much dislike the prevalent modus operandi of HOAs. Since when do you treat any child or adult with nothing, absolutely nothing but negative reinforcement? It is counter-productive, offensive in and of itself, and a very, very transparent way to 'troll for dollars' in the form of penalties and fees, not very unlike what the banks were so good at for a while.

While outdated in their usefulness, they continue to reap monthly monetary rewards for being just the worst parents, ever watchful for you doing something wrong, quick to correct any minor infraction in the name of harmony, consistency, or and giving you a fine for preserving property values?

With the current state of affairs post-recession, the percentages of renters has increased dramatically in many developments. And because of this, the tenants effectively have two landlords, overseers, big brothers and mommies. Now before you jump to their defense, take the time to check out some actual Yelp reviews of your HOA, whoever that may be. Can they be fired? Yes, but only by a group of owners in concert sounding like the old Trump, "You're fired!" And that's not likely to happen so the money trolling goes on and on.

It's a shame really because some of the neighborhoods are pretty darn cool to live in, but only because of the people, not because of any watchdog. So hey HOAs, how about some positive reinforcement for the new millennium? Yard is looking great! Driveway is clean ... thank you! Here's $25 off your monthly fee because you're so darn consistently good with your neighbors! You're teaching out of your home? That's fantastic! Can we advertise for you? You work with seniors? Wow, we did not know.

Brian Cole


‘Patriotism’ out of focus

Donald Trump once again raised the removal of Confederate statues and memorials while touting his support for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

The president tweeted, “Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy numbers around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!”

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So, the president wants the country to remember the names of confederate soldiers who committed treason against the United States but could not remember the name of a U.S. Army Special Forces sergeant who gave his life for our country. Trump told his widow, "He knew what he signed up for" after he was killed in action in Niger?

I'm appalled the self-proclaimed patriots who want to “make America great again” are mostly the same people who want to save statues of traitors, men trained in war at our national expense and sworn to defend the United States, who betrayed that oath to turn their military training against their own countrymen in a bloody four-year struggle to save slavery.

The hundreds of thousands of white and black soldiers who gave their lives defending our democracy while smashing the Confederate States of America deserve far more honor and respect than preserving the history of slavery and treasonous rebellion to appease the Republican base and their grievance movement. What imaginable national interest do we serve by making heroes of these traitors who were complicit in the assassination of President Lincoln?

And conservatives have the nerve to suggest professional football players disrespect those who fought and died for our country when they kneel during the national anthem? Please.

Jose Luis Castellanos

Santa Maria