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Posts published in “Day: September 13, 2007”

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Washington courtsOn reading the Washington Supreme Court opinion in Pasco v. Shaw - released today - our first question was why someone in the property rights world hadn't tried something like this before. Or maybe that was because the issues involved had been thought through better, before . . .

Because the basic ideas seems right up the alley of those property rights groups: A constitutional challenge to all those state and local rules and regulations involving inspection of building quality and related matters. Since this involves government entities coming onto private property without a reasonable belief that something criminal was going on.

The problems being alleged were certainly significant enough.

For example, the landlords involved in this case owned rental units for which there was no working source of heat. Tenants were told they had to provide their own heat via portable electric space heaters. In addition, kitchens contained no vent, hood, fan, or window, despite the fact that natural gas was used to heat them. In one building, windows were not properly installed, allowing weather to enter the wall. Plumbing was in such disrepair that a bucket had to be used to catch water draining from a bathroom sink. One unit was infested with cockroaches. Some units had unsound wall finishes and warped or buckled walls.

One of the Shaws' tenants complained that they were refusing to make necessary repairs to her apartment. For some time, neither the heat nor the air conditioning worked. The doors did not open unless she resorted to using a knife or plastic card. Both the bathroom and kitchen sinks drained into buckets. The shower wall was collapsing and the kitchen and bathroom floors were rotting. When the tenant demanded either repairs, placement into a better rental unit, or refund of her deposit so she could move out, the apartment manager told her that if she continued to complain, he would have her deported.

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Something local

And now and then, an encouraging reminder that not absolutely everything in the broadcast media has been swept up by the corporate megagiants:

This report in the Salem Statesman-Journal about Ken Cartwright, a small businessman at Stayton who's launching a new local radio station (KENC 1620 AM), very much the old-fashioned way.

For the past month, Cartwright has been setting up the low-powered AM station, which features country and bluegrass music and local news. The studio, set up next to Cartwright's Music and Repair Shop, is at 329 N Third Ave. in downtown Stayton. A large picture window gives passersby a glimpse into the world of radio, where in the mornings from 6:30 to 9:30, Cartwright entertains, informs and runs contests.

Since early August, Cartwright has been talking with city officials from Aumsville to Sublimity, searching for locations for small transmitters. The first transmitter, on the roof of his business, can cover from Highway 22 to about the south edge of town.