Published on November 13, 2018 at 12:53 am
BY RAGA JUSTIN
Architectural engineering sophomore (Cypress Lefebre) political signs up on her lawn in North Campus, a holdover from the midterm election last week. The drive through Austin’s residential streets will reveal Hundreds of other campaign signs still mounted in private lawns.
If these signs are not gone by Friday, Texans may have to deal with their local HOA which has authority from the state to ask residents to remove campaign signage 10 days after an election. The Texas Ethics Commission has this rule in place to promote fair elections and prevent conflict between residents, said Chris Bishop, a Texas Department of Transportation public information officer.
“I would have an issue with taking away my yard signs or even them asking me to remove it,” Lefebre said. “I don’t think it should be enforced. If you want to continue to express your support for a person, you should be able to.”
Bishop said TxDOT has the authority to remove campaign signage on state-owned property, such as along roads or on telephone poles. Signs on private property are under different jurisdiction, he said.
“I can’t tell you who’s going to be enforcing that,” Bishop said. “It would really just depend on how aggravated someone gets at campaign signs remaining in place. A homeowners’ association could include that in their bylaws, but it’s up to them to enforce it.”
Official political advertising from the candidates themselves is regulated by the Texas Ethics Commission, Bishop said.
“Realistically, people need to understand that the election is over,” Bishop said. “If you want to keep your campaign signs, put them up in your living room.”
Ted Siff is the president of the Old Austin Neighborhood Association, which covers many of downtown’s residential streets but not West Campus. Siff said neighborhood associations are different from homeowners’ associations, and do not have the legal right to ask people to remove signs even if they cause a dispute among residents. Homeowners’ associations are typically more prevalent in suburban housing developments and are state regulated.
If nobody complains about signage, Siff said he does not understand homeowners’ associations pushing for their removal and considers it a violation of free speech.
“I would encourage everyone to just calm down a little bit,” Siff said. “If I were a homeowners’ association, I would not enforce a law that said I could go on a neighbor’s private property to take down their political sign. I think that law borders on unconstitutional.”
Saamia Imtiaz interned for the Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and said his campaign signs, many of which still remain in Austin yards, were a major political tool.
“Campaign signs are the biggest way you can get name recognition for a candidate,” said Imtiaz, international relations and Plan II sophomore. “When people see signs, they ask questions about it. It’s a really important part of the process.”
Imtiaz said she and others who worked on O’Rourke’s campaign are encouraging people who want to keep their Beto signs up to hide the words “for Senate” on them, which makes them a non-campaign sign. However, this is not an official policy from O’Rourke’s campaign, Imtiaz said.
“It’s them showing support for an idea, for the person behind the campaign,” Imtiaz said. “I don’t think it’s fair to make people take them down.”
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10/30/2018 0 Comments
by Claire Helm Monday, October 29th 2018
BUTTS COUNTY, Georgia --
Deputies with the Butts County Sheriff's Office in Georgia have placed no trick or treat signs in front of every registered sex offender's home in hope to warn families before Halloween.
On Oct. 27, Sheriff Gary Long took to Facebook to encourage trick or treaters to avoid homes with the sign, which read: "WARNING: No Trick-Or-Treat At This Address!!"
In the post, Long said that Georgia law forbids registered sex offenders from participating in Halloween. While the signs have created some buzz online, Long said they are placed in accordance with Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 42-1-12-i(5) which states the sheriff shall inform the public of the presence of sexual offenders in each community.
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When the bell rings at Lowry Elementary school, the streets of The Greens of Countryway fill up quickly.
"We end up with gridlock,” said Linda Baker who lives on the corner.
The streets are filled with parents that pull over and park their cars along the side of the street to go drop off or pick up their kids. Neighbors say they sometimes can’t even get out of their own driveways.
"Road rage is kind of building up here,” said neighbor Selecio Gonzalez.
The 'no parking' signs seem to go completely unnoticed.
Baker snapped several photos of cars blocking the crosswalk. She says it happens all the time.
Monday, ABC Action News watched as a minivan going the wrong direction parked inches away from a stop sign. Neighbors say when they ask people to stop, they are met with animosity.
"Today I had someone start yelling at me,” said Tina Heselton, who lives down the street.
The Hillsborough County School District says the principal at Lowry has called, texted and sent newsletters to parents reminding them to use the car line and not neighborhood streets.
"It goes by pretty quick and usually within 20 minutes it's cleared up,” Gonzalez said. He’s really concerned about people that park in front of fire hydrants which he says also happens a lot.
“[When] you start blocking the fire hydrants, where now if it's needed, you’re in the way of emergency vehicles coming to do their job,” he said. “It’s not right."
The gravel lot to the right of the school is a backup for parents. Some people wanted to see the grass lot to the left of the school paved, but the district says it’s considered a wetland. Baker hopes people will understand their concerns and be respectful
"I know I speak for the whole neighborhood when I say any kind of help that you can give us, we would greatly appreciate it,” she said.
Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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NATIONAL NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BURLINGTON, Vt. AP, Signs saying “It is OK to be White” have appeared at The University of Vermont and at Champlain College over the weekend.
UVM says that the signs were removed and the school “condemns the activity in the strongest possible terms” to the extent they were intended to promote white nationalist ideology.
Similar signs have showed up on the campus before. Last winter, white supremacist signs and stickers were posted at UVM and other college campuses. Last winter, white supremacist signs and stickers were posted at UVM and other college campuses.
Burlington police said they were traced to a Vermont resident and some people from out of state. Police said there was no evidence to suggest that UVM or Champlain College students were involved.
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The signs display the number of ponies, cattle, donkeys, pigs and sheep killed last year - in total 56 animals.
The national park authority said the two months after the clocks change are the most dangerous of the year as the evenings become darker.
So far 49 animals have died between January and August this year.
The figures, from the the Verderers of the New Forest, showed that was 10 more than in the same period last year, although the total number of deaths is 40% lower than a decade ago, the park authority said.
Commoners - the families who own the animals that graze the forest - have got together to produce the signs which will be placed in local towns and villages throughout the winter.
James Young, whose pony Brock Brocade was killed by a hit-and-run driver, said: "This is the most worrying time of year for every family making the effort to keep the forest properly grazed.
"Pure-bred New Forest ponies like Brock Brocade are now a rare breed. Every one matters to its owners and to the forest.
"No pony deserves to be left all night to suffer like Brocade in an unreported hit-and-run.
"I really hope that people will learn to take a little more care, and save other commoners from experiencing such a pointless and awful loss."
10/23/2018 0 Comments
Five or more yard signs for Democratic candidates were set on fire in a Richardson neighborhood Monday night, officials said.
Police received three calls in a 30-minute span — one at 11 p.m., another at 11:06 and the third at 11:28 — reporting that yard signs for Beto O'Rourke and Colin Allred had been lit on fire in the Arapaho Heights neighborhood west of Heights Park, Sgt. Kevin Perlich said.
O'Rourke is running to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in next month's midterm elections, and Allred is looking to oust Pete Sessions in the 32nd Congressional District.
Chris Terry and her wife were reading Monday night when their dog, Jack, started barking. Then, the doorbell rang: A man from the Fire Department was at the door to let them know their O'Rourke and Allred yard signs had been set ablaze, along with a handful of others nearby.
Terry took photos of the signs and their burned edges Tuesday afternoon at her home on Northlake Drive. She said she had one sign stolen before, but the fires were shocking and upsetting.
"I want to draw a mustache on the Ted Cruz sign, but I won't, because the ability to support who you want to support is a pretty basic tenet of the architecture of our democracy," Terry said. "And it's private property — you don't just step in someone's yard and light their sign on fire.
Terry said that she couldn't sleep after all the commotion and that the attack motivated her to donate an extra $25 each to the campaigns of O'Rourke, Allred, lieutenant governor candidate Mike Collier and Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakotan Democrat hoping to keep her Senate seat. Terry also signed up for a three-hour volunteer shift with Rideshare2Vote, an organization driving voters to the polls.
Terry's wife, Michael Graffeo, said she was just grateful that whoever set the fires didn't wake up their daughter, "or they would've had the wrath of the momma bear."
A few houses down on Northlake Drive, Christine Moldenhauer said she discovered her O'Rourke sign had been torn from its metal posts and keyed, but it wasn't burned
Paige Hutchinson, Colin Allred's campaign manager, said the campaign hadn't been aware of the signs being burned. "I would just say it's a real shame to hear that this is happening," she said, noting that anyone who had an Allred sign that was vandalized could contact the campaign, and Allred would deliver a new one.
O'Rourke's campaign did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Missy Shorey, chairwoman of the Dallas County Republican Party, said what happened to the signs was "unacceptable."
"People need to keep in mind that harming signs is against the law, end of story," Shorey said.
The Dallas County Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Donovan said that she had heard of signs being stolen, but not set on fire. That, she said, showed more malicious intent.
This Richardson neighborhood wasn't the first to see yard signs defaced ahead of the election. In September, one Houston resident told local news station KPRC-TV that his O'Rourke sign that had been stolen. Another found his Ted Cruz sign had been spray-painted with an "X" over it. The McAllen Monitor reported that a South Texas attorney's "Beto for Senate" sign had been marked wifith red spray paint. The Richardson Fire Marshal's Office is looking for leads on who might have set the fires, Fire Marshal Wesley Caskey said. He said the department suspected that the same person or group of people was responsible for all of the fires.
Caskey said officials with the fire marshal's office went door-to-door asking neighbors if they had seen anything or had video footage that might have captured the fires.
Whoever is responsible would likely be charged with criminal mischief — not arson, a charge used in cases where homes or buildings are set on fire, Caskey said.
Caskey said that in more than a decade at the fire marshal's office, he had never seen campaign signs lit on fire. But Perlich, the police spokesman, said that vandalism or stolen campaign signs aren't uncommon, and that the behavior is not specific to this election cycle.
Anyone with information about the fires may contact the Richardson Fire Marshal's Office at 972-744-5750 or by email at FMO@cor.gov.
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10/23/2018 0 Comments
article BY MORGAN GSTALTER - 10/23/18 10:21 AM EDT
A candidate running for a city council seat in California was arrested for unlawfully removing campaign signs after an on-camera dispute with her rival's husband.
Youngsun “Sunny” Park was arrested on Friday morning in a residential neighborhood, CBS Los Angeles reported Monday.
Local police said they obtained evidence of the offense, which is a misdemeanor, and Park was taken into custody without incident. She was cited and later released by police, CBS reported.
Park was confronted by her opponent’s husband and video caught her with a collection of anti-Park campaign signs in the backseat of her car.
“No Sunny Park. Carpetbagger,” the signs read. The signs did not disclose who paid for them, but Park accused her rival of producing them.
Park is running against incumbent Mayor Virginia Vaughn for Buena Park’s District 1 seat.
Park shared a video of her confrontation over the signs with Kenny Vaughn, the mayor’s husband, prior to her arrest.
She said in a Facebook post that he followed her, swore at her and harassed her while she collected a few of the signs. She wrote that she was collecting the signs as evidence of her opponent's "dirty tricks."
“Since day one our campaign signs have gone missing or stolen,” Park wrote. “Virginia Vaughn mass produced and placed negative signs with lies about me, and furthermore, these signs DID NOT disclose who paid for them.”
Park's opponent told CBS Los Angeles that Park "is not telling the truth."
“It’s really sad that Sunny Park is not telling the truth on her website,” Vaughn told the outlet. “This has been a fairly decent campaign but every issue always seems to go back to Sunny Park over this last year.”
“I just wish we could get through the election and not be cruel to each other,” she added.
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Officials with Village of the Branch said they would look into whether the signs advertising businesses and events complies with village and historic district codes. By Nicholas Spanglernicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org @spanglernewsdayUpdated October 11, 2018 5:17 PM
Village of the Branch Planning Board chairwoman Elizabeth Smith this week criticized the Smithtown Library at a village board meeting for what she said was a profusion of signs on the front lawn of its main building.
The library had eight signs there Wednesday: One identifying a ship mast locust planted by one of Smith’s ancestors in 1850, four related to the library, one bearing the name of funeral homeowners who donated the library’s time capsule and two with the name, phone number and logo of the landscaping company that donated and maintains the flower garden.
It was those last signs, anchored by white posts and standing a few feet off the ground, that drew Smith’s particular ire. “It’s pure advertising,” she said at Tuesday's board meeting. “This is not a small little sign.”
Smithtown Library is an independent taxing district but its main building, on the corner of North Country Road and Main Street, sits within village borders. Village code prohibits erection of most signs without a permit and allows just one sign per lot in the historic district where the library is located.
In an interview Wednesday, Smith warned that the landscaping signs would grow even more obstreperous in the winter and said that village signage rules apply even to nonprofits such as the Methodist Church and the Smithtown Historical Society. “It’s not fair to allow one resident, or one business, or the library, to get the benefits of advertising,” she said.
Village attorney Christopher Ring said at Tuesday’s meeting that he would address the matter with library officials.
Library director Robert Lusak said in an interview Wednesday that he had not spoken to Ring but that library officials would research their sign responsibilities.
The library rotates banner signs for library events and sometimes allows local nonprofits to post their own banners, he said.
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10/11/2018 0 Comments
HOBOKEN — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced a proposed ordinance at a press conference on Wednesday requiring all public and private single-occupancy restrooms in the city to be gender-neutral, expanding on an executive order he signed the same day mandating that all single occupancy city-owned bathrooms would be gender neutral by the end of May. The ordinance would be up for a vote of the City Council at their meeting on Wednesday, May 2.
Initially, a city spokesman told the Reporter that the executive order about single-occupancy restrooms only applied to two in City Hall. But he contacted the reporter Thursday stating the initial number was incorrect. The measure will apply to as many as 18 restrooms in city buildings, including in firehouses.
The ordinance that goes with the executive order goes a step further to include private single-occupancy bathrooms.
When asked if the city planned to find out if private businesses throughout the city are complying, city spokesperson Santiago Melli-Huber said inspections would occur.
Melli-Huber also stated that gender neutral bathrooms are not the same as unisex bathrooms and that “The ordinance does specify ‘all-gender,’ which is different than ‘unisex.’ The city, for example, is ordering signs that do not have the male and female stick figures and instead say ‘all-gender.’ ”
If passed by the council, Hoboken will be the first city in the state of New Jersey, and one of few cities nationally, to pass such a law.
“This is a chance for Hoboken to lead the state and the country in affirming the civil rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Bhalla in a press release.
The city will change all affected restroom signs by May 31 in time for the start of June, which is LGBT Pride Month.
If the ordinance is passed on Wednesday, existing businesses and other affected entities will have 60 days from the effective date to comply. They are to replace existing gender-specific signage with gender-neutral signage.
New businesses and establishments must comply upon opening to the public.
According to Melli-Huber, if private establishments do not comply, the Violations and Penalties section of the Health/Sanitary Code would apply to establishments that are in violation of the law. This section of code state that violators could be subject to fines, a minimum of $100 to a maximum $1,000, or community service.
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10/10/2018 0 Comments
BY ANNA M. TINSLEY email@example.com October 10, 2018 08:00 AM
Sandra Juarez just wanted to show her support for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
So she bought a yard sign for the Republican — who is embroiled in a fierce re-election bid against Democrat U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke — and proudly planted it in her Arlington yard.
In less than a week, it was gone She happened to have a second Cruz sign, so she put that one in her yard. It, too, was gone in a matter of days. “I guess it’s part of politics,” Juarez said. “But now I don’t have any sign in my yard because I can’t afford to buy more. I’ve been seeing all these Beto signs and I wanted people to know there are a lot of Cruz supporters out there.”
Political yard signs have been in the news lately, particularly one showing an elephant with a trunk up a girl’s skirt that was confiscated by police and another that prompted a retaliatory message, creating dueling yard signs that had many neighbors laughing. Now, with the election weeks away, yard signs are disappearing at an increasing rate in Tarrant County and throughout the state.
A number of Texans are posting on social media that it seems O’Rourke and Cruz signs are stolen the most.
Some say it’s OK.
“Every time you steal a Beto sign, you end up donating a handful of cash to his campaign & help elect him because someone just buys another,” Democrat Chelsea Roe recently posted on Facebook. “And people really don’t care how many $5 donations they make.
“So thanks, haters.”
Depending on the size, political yard signs generally cost around $5 or $10, more if shipping costs are required.
Theft of one of these signs from someone’s private property generally would be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $100, Fort Worth police Lt. Brandon O’Neil said.
‘Please stop’Republican Mona Bailey said it’s rare for her North Richland Hills neighborhood to have many yard signs promoting Democratic candidates. But signs for Beto O’Rourke have been popping up in a number of yards, prompting some neighbors to put Ted Cruz signs in their yards as well.
Then Bailey saw posts on social media about some signs being stolen.
“Someone in our neighborhood is stealing all the Beto yard signs, and it’s only energizing the Beto voters,” she posted on Facebook. “Whoever you are, please stop. It isn’t helping.”
One post noted that a Beto sign had been stolen — and the victim thought Cruz supporters in the neighborhood were the culprits.
“I immediately went on the posting page and said I was sorry to hear about it,” said Bailey, a Republican precinct leader. “We don’t condone it. And I asked if possibly one had a camera and can record” to catch future thieves.
“We should never be stealing each other’s signs.”
Democrat Phillip Hennen agrees.
The Democratic precinct chairman in Fort Worth also noticed a number of posts on social media about stolen political yard signs.
So he wrote his own message, offering to replace stolen Democratic political signs in the Westcliff and Westcliff West neighborhoods, if he could.
None of the signs he has in his yard — promoting Democrats from O’Rourke to Agriculture Commissioner Kim Olson, as well as several other candidates in races further down the ballot — have been stolen.
‘Passions run high’Hennen said he’s surprised signs have been taken.
“I can’t picture what the motivation would be,” the 63-year-old Fort Worth man said. “It would seem it would elicit bad publicity to be doing that.
“But in politics, sometimes passions run high.”
Hennen said he has replaced several Democratic signs that have been stolen, all touting O’Rourke’s bid for the U.S. Senate. And he has more to hand out.
“I wish that our political environment was more gentle and cooperative,” he said. “I wish people weren’t being ugly.”
“I hope they find who was stealing the signs,” Bailey said. “It doesn’t help your side at all to steal yard signs. It gives them a black eye when it happens.”
She said she firmly believes that yard signs make a difference in the election.
“Yard signs instill someone’s name in your memory,” she said. “There are a lot of independent voters, or people who aren’t really sure. When they get in the voting booth, their mind goes to the fact that they’ve seen a number of signs for a certain candidate.”
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