Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

The National Post never fails to please, and this morning was no different. Imagine me sitting at my kitchen table, ruffling the pages of my cyber-newspaper and seeing this story.

It seems that the good people of Vancouver B.C.-you know, the city where a refrigerator carton under an overpass will cost you $250,000 to buy-where was I? Oh. I remember.

Do you think I'm kidding-about the refrigerator box? I checked the prices and the least expensive condominium I could find in Vancouver, a 500 square foot number, was listed at $350,000. That's not much larger than a Maytag box.

Some folks have decided that in the name of sustainability, cityfarming, and all good green things, that the city ordinances that banned backyard chicken coops should now be replaced with a more chicken-friendly version which would allow such things in backyards. It's in keeping with the prevailing ethos which allowed Hizzoner, the mayor of Vancouver, to annex a cuink of the lawn in front of City Hall for a community garden.

The problem of what to do with the chickens when mother hands you the hatchet on Sunday morning and says if you want roast chicken there are a few-ahem-chores to accomplish is left for another day and time.

Also, the problem of what to do when your neighbor's pet yardbird decides it's time to serenade the ladies at 4:30 am on Tuesday morning and you need to be rested for your work is left unsaid as well.

Local poultry producers are against the measure, as are animal health activists rightly concerned about the spread of avian influenza which has decimated chicken flocks in mesne places.

Don't get me wrong-I'm all for cityfarming, and if it was up to me, we'd be growing a lot more in the way of victory gardens. Fact is, in these times, scratching the dirt and letting Gaia's increase grace our tables is a good idea anytime, and if present trends continue, we may well see more of this practice. I expect to see a lot more folks out at Phil Funk's farm in Grimes this summer gathering tomatoes and sussing out the mysteries of home canning.

And that's good. But pet chickens in town? No thanks. Peace and quiet is worth something too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marshall County Confidential

Spahn and Rose Lumber Co. v. Jones, no. 07-1742 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2009)

Jones owned real estate in Marshall County and was building a house on it. There were three liens: the plaintiff's mechanic's lien, a mortgage lien held by Aegis, and a lien held by Angell Landscaping.

Spahn and rose filed suit to foreclose their lien and the court ordered the property sold, the sheriff erroneously noting that the property was not subject to redemption

A sale was held that was not attended by Aegis, believing there was a statutory redemption period in place.

Moyer bought the property for $190,000 and executed a mortgage to Grundy National Bank.

A hearing was held to disburse the surplus after Spahn and Rose had been paid and Aegis filed a claim for $408,710.68. The surplus, $111,000 was turned over to Aegis, leaving Angell out in the cold.

The fighting issue, as it developed, was whether Moyer could be considered a good faith purchaser for value, which would have had the effect of stripping Aegis of its statutory right of redemption because of the provisions of Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.1015(1).

Aegis argued that Moyer could not be a good faith purchaser for value because she had constructive notice of Aegis' statutory right of redemption.

The Court of Appeals agreed, noting a long line of cases that suggest that a purchaser at a foreclosure sale is charged with notice of such material facts as the record discloses. It also noted that the trial court's finding that Moyer was a good faith purchaser for value conflicted with previous decisions that the representations made by the sheriff at a foreclosure sale contain no guarantee of the legal status of a title.

Moyer was charged with constructive notice of title through properly recorded public documents. Moyer had not, as it happened, pursued a title search or sought legal advice.

The takehome's simple-look before you leap.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

News From Nebraska, And It's Not Good

We're reliably informed that one Acea Schomaker of Omaha used the homemade device to put his girlfriend's cat in while he smoked a bowl of herb.

He was charged with animal cruelty. He said that it was not the first time and it calmed the cat down. 

I always thought there was something strange about Nebraska.

This may be something to threaten Zelda with, as she's taken up the habit of trying to get us up to play at 3 or 4 in the morning.