Have Your Neighbor Dispute Resolved by a TV Judge
A pilot begins filming in May for a talk show focused on legal issues.  If you have a current or recent neighbor dispute you'd like resolved on television, and you'd like a free trip to NYC, email me.

Neil Brooks
A life ruined, after asking 
t he neighbors to mind
their dogs' barking

Neil Brooks has learned that HOA's, municipal governments, and Neighbors From Hell can band together to send you packing.  But the unraveling of his marriage, home and health will make you wonder how an articulate person, productive worker and good neighbor can have everything taken from him, and could this happen to you?
    Neil's noisy neighbors, their "en-neighblers," HOA leaders and even the town mediator haven't seen any justice, something we at Neighbor Solutions get a bit pissy over.
    Read Neil's story on his own site here:  "The View from the Gulag."
    Neil was on a radio talk show discussing the situation; hear the interview here.

Hear Now The COLUMN of SHAME

Also, here are some recent stories involving neighbors fighting violently over parking that did not make the White House briefing:

Win a Free 2-Night Stay at Texas Theme Park, 
from NFH Survivor

Liz Miller and I were on Steve Harvey together last fall, but we already knew each other from her neighbor ordeal, from which she has now moved on.  
    She would like to offer a free cabin (sleeps up to 6) stay at Yogi Bear-themed Jellystone Hill Country -- she had paid for it for her family as a much needed getaway, but now living a new life in a new community, she would like to offer it to someone with hellish neighbors, currently in need of such a getaway.
    Jellystone is in central Texas between Austin and San Antonio, in Canyon Lake.  No travel or other expenses are provided -- just the stay.  Cabins feature full kitchen, pots and pans, but bring your own linens.  If you're in the region or can get there, please email me a brief paragraph or two describing your situation; I'll forward entries to Liz.  Submit all entries by Friday, April 3.  Travel by May 15th.

Woman battles noise and drugs in her community

In Seagoville, Texas, Sheryl Madison spends more of her time than she'd like on two things: Filming illegal activity in her once-nice neighborhood, and texting with her local police chief.
    Since reporting drug activity, and having the patrol cars pull up outside her home, thereby informing the neighborhood who was complaining, alleged felons in the area have taken to harassing her with noisy parties and booming cars that park outside and max out the subwoofers.
    The chief and other local officials are indeed trying to help, but Sheryl is learning that, whether you're fighting noise or drugs or harassment, being the good guy with Neighbors From Hell is not a life anyone would choose.
    But it chose her, and I invite your consideration of her story if you cover the Dallas metro area.  For more information, email me.

Helping those in The Gap

You hear about Beef & Beers in suburban communities all around the country.  I had assumed they were just to raise funds to buy more beef and beer in the future.  I was wrong.
    Many aim to provide food and shelter to people in our midst, who may not live just over the fence line but are effectively our neighbors -- someone out of work, suffering a health setback, working to overcome other difficult circumstances, whatever -- who may live a block away or across town.
    Point is, we can be good neighbors on a wider scale without a huge investment.  I don't go out at night due to having a baby and also just not being especially fond of anything happening at night away from my home and family.   So when a guy I know in the next town said he was having one of these Beef & Beers I glazed over.  
    But he and others throw in loads of personal cash to assist those "in the gap," who aren't eligible for food stamps or other programs, but who need some food for their families, who need a new car battery to get to work (mass transit is not great outside many metro areas), or who need help paying another month at the storage garage where all their stuff is kept after a foreclosure or eviction so it won't go up for bid and have their kids' toys featured on some reality show as a great find.
    Raffle tickets were cheap, and I bought two.  Didn't break me, won't help to fund the next event, but I was a part of something that helped someone in my community.

NOTE:  If you or anyone you know has lost items to a storage facility for not paying the bills, check here for ideas on getting back that sentimental stuff that has no real value for bidders and buyers.  From children's artwork and family photos to urns with ashes and the useless stuff held close to someone's heart, these items find themselves in the trash right now, and shouldn't.  Or, if you know someone about to lose their stuff, if possible, help to pay the bill, get their valuables out, and make sure kids' toys and photo albums aren't lost to people stuck in the gap.
Unreliable sources on neighbor stories
News Analysis

The New York Times has been covering the tragedy of three students being killed by their neighbor in Chapel Hill, N.C. over ongoing disputes concerning noise and parking problems.  Apparently frustrated there was no evidence supporting the killing was due to the killer's hatred of their religion (Muslim), Times reporters Jonathan M. Katz and Michael Paulson seemed rather bent on demonizing suspected killer Craig Stephen Hicks for just about anything else.  
    I guess killing people over parking is beyond the grasp of some reporters, but that will change as violent outcomes in neighbor conflicts continue to increase, unfortunately.  But for two reporters to assert their characterizations of the suspect has seemed journalistically irrelevant and panderingly partisan.
    Hicks, they say, is or may be "a self-appointed watchman in the complex" where all the parties lived; "And just last week, he posted on Facebook that he had called the police because he saw a couple having sex in the parking lot;" "...whatever happened almost certainly was not a simple dispute over parking;" "The contrast between the paunchy, balding Mr. Hicks and the rest of the complex's residents was stark."  They go on to say Hicks was unemployed and attending night classes to become a paralegal, while many of his neighbors were young "aspiring professionals and students at a premier public university."
    The facts thus far support only this:  The guy killed three people over an ongoing parking dispute.  He may have once been a good guy who lost it after years of battling people living in close proximity.  His act makes him no longer a good guy.
    But, Times reporters and editors, his reporting of illegal activity, being bald, and not being part of the academic elite that you clearly seem to favor, are not indicators he was a hater of Muslims, and so killed some.  You don't have evidence he was, and I predict you won't.  That's because he was someone who made a chilling choice to snuff out lives of some people who angered him.  He can study the law during his lifetime in prison.
    If the  New York Times cannot maturely and accurately report neighbor conflict news without character assassination, political prejudice, and bold statements that the real facts could not possibly be what the actual facts are, who can?

Note:  The NYT editorial board was invited to comment on this analysis but has not.