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Close encounters of the neighbor kind

I suspect that one of our next-door neighbors probably believes that I all I ever do is attend to the garbage and recycling barrels.

That's because 90 percent of the times we see one another I am doing exactly that. Of course, 90 percent of the times I see her she is walking her dogs. So perhaps walking her dogs is all she ever does.

Anyway, I told my wife that the neighbor in question must assume I lead a full, rich life of tending to the garbage barrels. That made her chuckle. So I sent our dog walking neighbor an email in which I shared my theory about appearing to be a crazy old man obsessed with the trash and recycling.

Our neighbor wrote back, saying she planned to get me garbage bags for Christmas.  

Neighborhood etiquette

If you are having a yard sale, do you want the people who live next door coming over to check out your stuff?

A) Depends entirely on how I feel about the neighbors in question. B) Sure, it would be the friendly thing to do. C) No, having them scrutinize our belongings would be creepy. D) Doesn't matter. I wouldn't recognize them anyway. E) Other.

Everybody look, what’s going down?

The loud bang outside late yesterday afternoon might have been a car backfiring.

Or maybe a transformer blowing.

Then it happened again. And again.

By the time I went out to have a look-see, all sorts of neighbors were already outside looking for an answer.

Turned out it had, in fact, been a pickup backfiring. The truck was pulled over down the road, with its hood up.

 One neighbor said it had sounded like gun shots. Another agreed.

Good to know I live on a street where people will go out and investigate when the shooting starts.

Real life in Spokane

Let's say you have a neighbor — neighbor A — who posts campaign signs for candidates you would not vote for on a dare.

And then you have another neighbor — neighbor B — who posts signs for politicians you support.

Well, the zealots would have you believe that there's no question you would prefer to have contact with neighbor B. But sometimes it tuns out that you actually like neighbor A better, depite your electoral differences.

Those who use politics as a litmus test for all human interaction wouldn't get that. But then, there's a lot they don't understand.

The enemy next door

We all know that neighbors don't always know each other these days. And sometimes those that are acquainted do not get along.

But the folks I wonder about are the next-door neighbors who have campaign signs for rival candidates in their front yards. I pass several of  these situations every day.

There are a couple of Verner/Condon sign duels and one or two Brower/Fullmer side-by-sides on my route.

What gets said about the neighbors inside those homes?

Sure, I guess I could get off my bike and undertake a little journalistic inquiry. But if I were to do that, two of the three possible outcomes are not good.

1. The people could lie.

2. They could tell the truth and the resulting coverage could turn a little low-key tension into serious hard feelings.

So I'll just hope that these neighbors are adults about this whole thing and are able to keep politics in perspective. Given the way things are these days, I realize that's wishful thinking.

But maybe I don't really need to worry. Like I said at the beginning, it could well be that these next-door neighbors are complete strangers and never talk.

I know. Odd to take comfort in that.

Extreme neighbor dispute ends in arrest

A 47-year-old Cheney man is accused of burglary after his 25-year-old female neighbor said he’d repeatedly threatened to “chop her head off” before bursting into her apartment and trying to pull her shirt off.

The extreme case of a bad neighbor occurred Sunday in a motel on B Street in Cheney, where the alleged victim said a man in a nearby rental unit was harassing her via telephone and had also contacted her in person, according to court documents.

Police arrived to find the woman being consoled by two friends in the room. The woman said she believed the man, identified as Paul A. Columbus, was capable of carrying out the threats. She said he'd burst into her room after she called 911 but she was able to push him outside and lock the door.

The woman said she was never in a relationship with Columbus and that he has never been allowed inside her room. Her two friends told police they witnessed Columbus threatened to cut the woman's head off and kill her dog.

Columbus remains jailed on $7,500 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on a first-degree burglary charge.

Revenge-seeking assault suspect jailed

A Spokane Valley man accused of assaulting his neighbor during a revenge-seeking break-in last week remains in jail on $50,000 bond.

Roger D. Holmes, Jr., 39, appeared in Superior Court Monday on first-degree burglary and first-degree assault charges

Holmes was hospitalized Wednesday night along with his neighbor at 12412 E. Eighth Ave., Kevin McLean, who underwent surgery for several stab wounds police believe were inflicted by Holmes.

Holmes was stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors by McLean, 47, after he broke into McLean’s home and attacked him, police said.

Holmes told police McLean had broken into his apartment a week ago and assaulted him, so he went to McLean’s apartment “to scare the (guy),” according to court documents.

“(McLean) broke into my house last weekend and nobody did a goddamn thing,” Holmes said. “I break into his house and all the cops in the world show up…He struck me first.”

Police found several sharp objected in the apartment, including a large pair of shearing scissors and a large military-style knife. Holmes was ordered to stay in jail Monday on $50,000 bond.

Portlanders Can Rat Out Neighbors

You can now rat out your neighbors online for neglecting basic lawn care. The Portland Bureau of Development Services started the Tall Grass and Weed Complaint Pilot Project for neighbors to file online complaints. Currently, city codes mandate grass and weeds in lawn areas no more than 10 inches in height. BDS said last fall they had to make such complaints a lower priority within their budget, so neighbors submitting photos and information online helps streamline the process/KGW. More here.

Question: Do you have a neighbor whose messy yard deserves a visit from the local code officer?