[Vision2020] Boarding House information

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Sat Apr 15 18:55:04 PDT 2006

Perhaps I'm just feeling melancholy, but wasn't there a time that churches 
considered it a good thing to avoid the appearance of evil, not rush 
headlong into it?  And while zoning code violations are hardly "evil," they 
are wrong, and the admonition to avoid the appearance thereof stands 
unassailed by arguments that something's not THAT wrong.

The Christ Church elders knew six years ago that these were considered 
boarding houses; that they were not in compliance, nor would same be in 
compliance as long as the code was unchanged; and they were told to stop it. 
  Now, since I'm in a melancholy but charitable mood, I might accept that 
the individuals who rent out their homes to boarders didn't know it was 
against code to do so ... which is all the more reason for the CC elders to 
hang their heads in shame, having thus led innocent people into wrongdoing, 
causing them to stumble in their Christian witness.

Of course, if the heads of these households KNEW it was wrong, and the 
elders encouraged them to do it anyway, we have a whole lot of head-hanging 
that ought to go on -- but, as I am currently melancholy, charitable AND 
cynical, I don't expect to see it.

On this Easter weekend, I am reminded that the Gospel of Christ crucified 
and risen is offensive enough to many people; it really isn't good for the 
brethren to make it even more so by behaving badly.

Kirk leaders, why not let the Christ you preach roll the stone of contempt 
away from the tomb of your hearts?   I suspect you might see Easter in a 
wonderful new light . . .


From: "Michael" <metzler at moscow.com>
To: <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Subject: [Vision2020] Boarding House information
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 15:40:24 -0700

Tom Writes:

No, no, no, gc - You may file Don Huskey's complaint under "the totally
objective scrutiny of team Huskey/Opyr/Hansen" all you friggin' want.  I
personally don't really care. You can go as far as filing my portion of this
action under "Hansen Hates Wilson", "Asshole Hansen is Pickin' on 'Just Call
Me Comb-Over' Courtney", etc. etc.  I don't care. It's a simple matter of
the Moscow City Zoning Code.  If you are aware of ANYBODY in violation of
the code, PLEASE feel free to sing along with us, ok? If you really feel
that this is all a matter of religious persecution, file a statement with
the MOscow City Council to that effect, or do you lack sufficent quantity of
the proper genetalia to do so. The bottom line is: If somebody is subletting
their residence without the proper permit, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW.  You
remember the law, dontcha?  That's the stuff we are ALL required to abide


I think there is a mild problem here-perhaps for both sides in the
debate-with respect to the role law actually plays in our town, or any US
town.  I think there is probably a fair chance that a significant portion of
us have technically violated law or code over the last five years in some
way and to some degree.  This might include jay walking, going over the
speed limit, making some innocent tax calculation mistakes, engaging
temporarily and ignorantly in an activity contrary to city code (perhaps
because we are accustomed to a different city's code), etc.  This is why
there the difference between a litigious culture and a non-litigious culture
is so practically important to all of us.  I would propose (in my own
stupidity to make a point) that law is most effective in a culture somewhere
in between; perhaps this middle ground is secured when folks are educated in
the law and practice a professionalism that often seeks legal counsel, and
yet also understand that litigation, or filing and pushing through
complaints, is usually not a 'win' situation for anyone and a last resort.
This is why I think we should all be concerned about the general equity at
issue here.  Do we want to endorse and encourage a use of the law that might
come and bite us next year?  Keep in mind, anyone can file a law suit about
anything anytime they want.  This becomes particularly problematic when it
is an attorney doing this over a personal gripe.  I have felt the teeth of
this latter scenario myself: just make bogus claims, keep filing things,
deceive your opponent into a default judgment, and then enjoy the
negotiation money as your opponent spends his parents' inheritance on
attorney fees so that he can finally go on with life. It is possible to
abuse the law, whether you have the facts and the correct interpretation of
law on your side or not.  This doesn't happen often here, but it is perhaps
a bit more frequent in Southern CA.

If we suspect there might have been a murder, then it makes sense to start
turning up rocks to find a culprit and have the law do what it is supposed
to do-enact its own vengeance so that we don't try to enact our own.  But
residential code serves a different purpose. This is perhaps why the city
will wait until a particular complaint is filed before they would enforce
some aspects of the code.  If folks are living in harmony with one another
then there is perhaps not usually reason for enforcement. For example, if
there is a code with respect to exterior lighting on my house (e.g. wattage
limits and direction of lighting), and I break that code because of some
cool lights I just bought at Costco, then I would sure hope that it is my
neighbor who files a complaint after first talking to me about their
concern, and not someone who doesn't like the philosophical stances I take
on my web site.  I think this opens the question of 'standing.'

In sum, I think that the question of standing should be considered by the
city if it is legally possible for them to do so, while at the same time
giving those who filed the complaint full opportunity to defend their
standing.  From my point of view, I have heard good arguments on both sides.
And yet, I must still go back to a previous post of mine and say that all of
this will be in vain if the underlying issues potentially motivating this
are not addressed in more sufficient fashion.  Perhaps Christ Church and NSA
would like to finally offer a humble stance in this community before the FBI
and Southern Poverty Law Center make another trip.

My Two Cents

Michael Metzler

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