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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

Use Of BB Guns

I do not find an adult male and teenager firing BB Guns on a lot that has new construction started, appropriate! Seriously are people that oblivious to what could happen? Do they lack common sense? Go out in the open desert…geesh!
And yes APD has been called

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26 Responses to “Use Of BB Guns”

  1. Mark says:

    Do NOT put yourself in harm’s way by approaching or following the armed individuals…but if you know where they live or see them enter a residence, please pass that to APD… and to Pat (pat@entrustam.com) as well so the appropriate HOA-level response can take place. This behavior definitely falls under Section 10.10 of the CC&Rs – “No Hazardous Activities”, and our property manager can send them notices/fines (as appropriate).

    Be safe, and thank you for being a concientious neighbor!

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

  2. DLGray-Wurz says:

    Mark,

    We called APD and the Officer showed up while they were still shooting the BB Guns. The Officer approached them and the offenders left the lot. To our knowledge they have not been back to the lot.
    I am well aware of Gun safety and the same rules apply to BB Guns. Especially since there are BB Guns fashioned to look like Rifles and Hand Guns. BB Guns are supposed to have an orange mark at the front of the barrel. At a distance, I would never assume whether it was or not.
    Add to that, mishandled BB Guns can cause harm to people. Not knowing their intent was the key to letting the Officer handle it.

  3. the Sniper says:

    To both of you: It was me, and my son, that were down shooting that day. We’ve done that hundreds of times, and I’m completely blown away by your lack of common sense regarding gun safety and knowledge.

    First of all: those were Red Rider model 10 air guns. With one pump, they shoot about 35 or 40 feet maximum. They can’t break the skin, and they shoot straight as an arrow, ergo the reason they are the best way to teach kids to shoot. We’ve shot at that same lot every time because there’s no house behind it in close enough range to get hit, and there’s a concrete wall there as a backstop. We shoot cans, garbage, and debris, and always clean up our mess.

    Secondly: yes, we could’ve gone up to the desert. It’s about ten times as far of a walk, and it was hotter than hell that day. If I thought there was a legitimate safety issue, I would have gladly done that. In fact, my kids and I go up there often to shoot our bows and do archery. Those are legitimate weapons and need some space to be used in a safe manner.

    Third. @ DLGray-Wurz: are you serious? I’m not really sure what you perceived as the threat here, but I’m sure APD was thrilled that you dispatched one of their officers to deal with such dangerous ‘armed’ individuals. If you would’ve approached and asked us to relocate, our response would’ve been the same. Grow some stones and relax a little.

    And to Mark: I hate the HOA, with extreme prejudice. And this is exactly why. Be a manager, that’s fine. But don’t be an idiot. My wife and I refer to you and your cronies (quite accurately) as the ‘neighborhood nazis’. We keep our yard spotless, and yet we get hate mail about our trash cans sticking a foot past the corner of the garage on days the kids don’t put them back perfectly. We get dictated to about how we can decorate our homes, or park our vehicles, build, or organize events. We’ve never done anything derogatory, or infringed on any of our neighbors, or done anything that would be an issue for property value. And we’re treated like 10 year-olds. I’m embarrassed that I pay $50 a month to support such tyranny, but don’t have much say in the matter it seems. Why don’t you try a common-sense and hand shake approach instead of threats, closed-mindedness, and ultimatums?

    If the option to move out of this neighborhood was one that wouldn’t be a huge pain in the poopshoot, I’d have been gone a long time ago. But it isn’t, and short of the governing body of this neighborhood and the handful of uptight neighbors, I really like it here. It’s clean, it’s upscale, the view is nice, and it’s safe.

  4. Dave says:

    If Red Ryder 10’s are so safe why aren’t you using them in you back yard? Red Ryder 10’s are pellet guns and shoot up to 192 yards at 350ft/sec. The can easily put an eye out.
    Not reading the CCR’s is no excuse for ignoring them.
    We do our shooting at the Albuquerque Shooting Park.
    Archery, pellet guns, sling shots are not weapons to be used in residential areas.

  5. the Sniper says:

    Thatta boy…I wondered how long it would take you.

    192 yards for a model 10 would have to be aimed about 40 feet above the ground, lobbed, with zero wind. If you did manage to shoot one that far, your shooting partner could catch the BB it’d be going so slow. And they don’t take pellets at all–in fact, they don’t even have a bolt to pull back. Just a lever to cock, a quick shake, and off you go. Perhaps YOU should try ‘reading the CCR’ a little closer, bub. I’m fairly familiar, thanks…we own six of them. And I do shoot them in the backyard, pretty frequently. We just like the dirt lot because we can plink from a little farther.

    So Dave…tell me. Between the bit about you being retired in the parking ticket post, and the fact that you seem get around the neighborhood based on your observations, I’m guessing you’re an older fella. Probably the one I see taking walks with his wife all the time, that happened by the day me and my boy were shooting. I only rationalize this, because like I said previously, we’ve gone down to that same place hundreds of times and done that, and never once has anyone complained. You were the one wild card in all this from that day when I reflected on it.

    What gives, man? Seriously. You’d call the cops on someone for something so ridiculously petty? That’s lame. How’s about walking up and saying hello? Or maybe you thought I’d go berserk in front of my thirteen year old son, and really try to set a good example, eh? I’ve taught him gun safety since he was old enough to hold one. He has a 4.0, he’s captain of his sports teams, and he’s the most polite kid you’ll probably ever meet. We go to the range together and shoot as well, but only for pistols and rifles. We’ve been in the shooting game a long time.

    I’m confounded by this, truly. This was the most ridiculous thing that’s happened to me in as long as I’ve lived here, and I still find myself laughing, albeit irritated, by this. But, you win. We’ll keep our shooting to the desert from here on out, and not taint this perfect heavenly neighborhood with our destructive gangbanger ways.

    One last thing…the lot with construction was the one next to the one we were shooting at. Walking through concrete forms and dirt piles is hard work with a gun in your hand. And typically, contractors don’t put dumpsters (like the one between us and the actual job site) right in the middle of where they’re going to build. If you’re going to BS on here and when you call the police (yeah, he told us that you said we were shooting at the construction site) at least come up with something that makes a little bit of sense.

  6. webmaster says:

    Not sure who you are talking about when you mention “cronies”. Perhaps you should look to see who created the very website you are using to make your uninformed statements. So let me virtually walk up to you and say hello… and introduce myself and the rest of the Board.

    Hello – my name is Chris Perkins. I currently sit on the Board as President… This is my second year on the Board and 3rd year in the community. Since my family and I moved in we wanted to make some changes to help our community be just that. I noticed a lot of gate problems when we moved in, we saw a lack of communication and a property management company (Canyon Gates) who was doing NOTHING to help our community in any way.

    So I took it upon myself and created this blog. I’ve put hundreds of personal time into this site for which I am very proud of. I created the blog in the first 6 months of living here and called it “The Unofficial Blog of the Orchards”. Shortly after that I was able to work with the Board and get it to be official. Working with the Board, I decided that I wanted to participate a little more… to see for myself why things were done they way they were or not getting done at all.

    After taking a position on the Board my family and I organized the first Halloween Potluck – which was a huge success. We also contributed a lot in the 2nd one as well. Not only did my wife, son and myself help out with getting tables, tents, chairs, passing out invites to every home, etc., we also made food for the potluck, set up and cleaned up after.

    I’m not the only person who cares about our community and sits on the Board. There are, and have been, neighbors of ours who have and sit on the Board who care a tremendous amount about where we live. Robert, Mark, Joseph and Stephanie are all dedicated people who I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with and realizing that we all want the same thing: to make our community a better place to live.

    A previous Board fired Canyon Gates and hired enTrust- and now our reserve bank accounts actually have funds in them. Outstanding balances are being collected and we are seeing a lot of good things come out of this new pm company.

    Oh I forgot to mention the survey that just got published – I put the entire thing together and worked closely with the Board, property management company and a small test group of neighbors on finalizing the content.

    So when you say cronies, and claim the Board are Nazis and such, it’s just the opposite, IMO. I would like to invite you to participate in helping our community and then perhaps you can actually SEE what goes on and what the challenges are. Just as everyone who has served (non-paid – volunteering time and effort) on the Board in the past.

    Also, please keep in mind that the dictations of how our homes can look come from documents that KB Homes wrote as part of a City requirement. The Board’s role in that is to enforce the rules – which is also clearly written in the docs (which I am sure you are familiar with).

    Hopefully you and your family continue to use this website as a way of communicating to our neighbors, the Board or the property management company… and hopefully you will come to realize that the few (yes, FEW) of us who volunteer do not want to make our neighborhood worse – we want to make it better.

    Your neighbor,
    Chris
    Webmaster
    President – Orchards BoD

  7. Dave says:

    I’m not the old guy walking the neighborhood with his wife so don’t go harrassing them.
    The only reason we called the police was while you setting up targets, your son was in the construction area and I saw him shoot into the trench they laid PVC pipe in.
    I will continue to call the police anytime I see anything that warrants it.

  8. the Sniper says:

    @ Chris:

    A virtual handshake. That’s a start, I suppose. Sorry to corral you into the group of nazi’s, but unfortunately the HOA, as noble as it’s intentions, has yet to do one thing to impress me or treat me in a neighborly fashion. To date, they’ve sent me a half dozen or better pieces of hate mail about my trash cans being visible, my wheelbarrow not being stowed right, my vehicles parked in a way that upset them, and weeds growing that needed trimming. All with the threat of fines if I didn’t comply. They’ve also stymied every single request I’ve made for building projects through their ARC committee, put stipulations on how I can decorate my home, and have looked past the white trash neighbors on three sides of me with trashy yards, cars up on blocks, kids paintings on the side of the house with chalk, and vegetation that looks like it hasn’t been trimmed in decades. And last, but certainly not least, they’ve seen fit to silence my comments on here. I take my hat off for the effort you’ve made in your time on the HOA board, but forgive me if I say it hasn’t made one iota of difference to me.

  9. the Sniper says:

    @ Dave:

    Now you’re flat out lying. My son was arms reach from me the entire time I was down there, helping me set up targets. Quit trying to pass off things here that justify your story. That sounds like the same BS story you told the cops.

    I know exactly who you are, so don’t bother denying it. And I could care less. And you know exactly who I am, and again, I could care less. My son ID’d you as the same guy that scolded him one day walking home from the bus stop for walking too close to someones fence and ‘looking in their yard’. News flash, brainiac…I can see over just about every fence in this neighborhood. So can he. In the immortal words of Shakespeare: methinks you doth protest too much. In other words–shut your mouth. Mind your own business, quit being so ornery, and don’t put your nose in places it doesn’t belong. Nobody does that to you, I reckon. Call the cops anytime you like. I imagine they’ll be as thrilled as the last one that showed up. He didn’t ask for my name, my ID, anything. He was embarrassed to have had to respond to such a stupid call, and apologized to me.

  10. Mark says:

    Sniper-

    Why is it when people are frustrated by rules, they jump first to calling people “Nazis”? That is just plain stupid and it cheapens the real brutality of what the Nazis did.

    Let me see…how could this unpleasantness have possibly been avoided? First thing that comes to mind is…oh, yeah, following those pesky CC&Rs. Don’t shoot guns in the neighborhood. BB guns, pistols, or rifles – there is no excuse for discharging them inside the neighborhood. Make all the fuss you want about how ‘no one was around’ or ‘it was an area under construction’. It is still not a good idea to do that.

    Second, someone walking down the street *could* have approached you to talk to you about it, but today’s society makes that a risky choice. Newspapers and newscasts routinely include stories about seemingly normal people who get sideways because someone “got in their business”. Your directive to Gary to mind his own business implies that, to some degree, it might not have taken much for a direct comment to you to wind up as another story on the news. So rant on and continue to demonstrate how reasonable you are. Shakespeare had you in mind as much as Gary, if not more.

    Third, call the cops. Sure, it turned out to be somewhat less exciting than chasing bad guys…except that I’m pretty sure that the cop even admitted that discharge of a BB gun within the city limits is still not appropriate. If he didn’t, well, shame on him. Give me his phone number (if he gave you his card, as many officers do) and I’ll tell him what I think. I’m not afraid to do that.

    On a much more positive note, though, I commend you for taking time to teach your son how to shoot. That is, to me, the BEST form of gun control. As a proud CCW holder, I know and take very seriously the privilige to carry…as well as the responsibilities that go with that choice. One of the basic CCW rules is to understand that you NEVER point a gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy. This applies to BB guns, too, because I guarantee you that at 15 or 20 feet, a BB in the eyeball will reduce you to 50% of what God gave you at birth, by direct hit or ricochet.

    What saddens me is that while you are doing good work in teaching him one part of life – self defense – you are missing out on teaching him to respect rules, respect property, and exercise good judgement. His GPA and captain-ship of teams is fine, but how much of his success do you undo by teaching him that rules are OK to break just because you find them inconvenient or annoying? If you son *did* shoot at PVC pipe, isn’t that still vandalism, even if the damage was minor? And even if the pipe wasn’t damaged, it still shows disrepect for property belonging to someone else. Just because there was “no harm done” doesn’t excuse bad decisions.

    And yes, I will rise to the bait you dropped in calling me an idiot. I’m not the one teaching my kid that vandalism and disregard for plain, easy-to-follow, and reasonable rules is OK. As far as I’m concerned, only an idiot teaches his children such things. And as for the fact that you have shot there “hundreds of times”, come on! Just because you weren’t called for it before doesn’t make it OK. Speeding “hundreds of times” without getting caught does not negate the fact that you broke the law.

    As for your comments about the HOA and the ARC, do you know why they exist? The HOA was mandated by the city of Albuquerque. KB had to make this an HOA-managed community before the city allowed them to build. Part of an HOA’s responsibilities is to care for community look and feel to the extent that it can. The HOA is relatively toothless beyond fines and liens. Since those are the tools we have, we use them. You might think of it as being harassed for your trashcan being out of place or having your choices for outdoor decoration regulated, but that’s life in an HOA. It is a controlled environment, not a free-for-all neighborhood like a traditional ‘residential neighborhood’. If the Board doesn’t do its job to uphold those CC&Rs, then it isn’t abiding by the charter it established with the state. Maybe you could bring a question to the next annual meeting and have Jon and Pat explain what happens when the HOA doesn’t do its job. Besides, you agreed to the CC&Rs when you moved in here, even if you didn’t know it.

    As for the ARC, it exists to preserve the original look-and-feel of the community, to ensure that decorations are tasteful and when no longer appropriate, removed. Construction activities need to be vetted in the community because it is a controlled environment.

    I have no idea why you think anyone is silencing your comments. Technical glitch? Perhaps. Comment actually rejected? Unlikely, but possible. Chris can address any problems you might have encountered here, but very little is ever rejected unless there is a clear reason to do so…not just a whimsical choice by someone on the Board who has it out for you.

    I understand the frustration of being called to account for your mistakes (trash cans, wheel barrows, parking, and the like), when you can just go outside and see your neighbors violating all those rules. If you think you are being singled out, you’re wrong. They just haven’t responded. I can’t divulge the account specifics of your neighbors, but I can tell you that people who do not comply *do* get fined. When fines don’t get paid, the HOA *does* place the lien. The HOA does have the authority to enter a yard to make corrections, but so far, that has not happened because there are legal ramifications once the HOA enters a yard. Legally, it isn’t worth it, and the courts take a dim view of forcing compliance physically. (Parking is the exception, and then only by a thin margin.) I’ve posted before: if you don’t like getting Notices, don’t do the things that cause them. Don’t get huffy about warning notices – they don’t cost you anything beyond the time to read them and comply. Ignore them, and you’re going to get fined. That’s the way it is. Heck, you don’t get that guarantee (free warning notice) with cops, so just deal with the infraction and move on.

    Not to you, specifically, but to anyone reading this blog: don’t park on the sidewalks. After having nearly been hit twice by real idiots speeding through the community while I was trying to get around cars parked on the sidewalk, I am making it a priority to set strict enforcement of our rule that sidewalks are not parking spaces. Fines, boots, and tows are in the future of people who insist that they need to park like this is some sort of ghetto.

    Look, blather on as much as you want about how we Nazis are running and ruining your life, giving you grief for what you do, and how much you’d rather not be here. Whatever. The fact is that you have choices, even if they aren’t to your liking. You can run away, move, leave in the finest tradition of Monty Python.

    Or, here’s a stunningly interesting idea: you can get involved. Run for the Board and make some changes. Join the Board and see just how hard it is to do the things a BoD must do and how hard it is to change those damnable CC&Rs so that they work for us instead of against us. I’m pretty sure that not a single one of us would cry too much if we were not elected next time around. But at least we are standing up to do the thankless work when no one else would, and until others jump in, I think most of us will continue to work on behalf of the interests of the community as a whole, not just a few who rant and rave on the blog.

    The best lesson you can give your son in this matter is to take a stand, get involved, and make a difference if you don’t like what’s going on in your community.

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

  11. webmaster says:

    Perhaps you aren’t that familiar with the documents that dictate our community after all… or the processes that are in place. Here are a few thoughts that came to mind as I read your responses.

    For one, the “HOA” is where we all live… not a group or a person. The Board is made up of five people (some new, some old) and all live here in the Orchards. We are all people who want to TRY to make a positive difference in where we live. I don’t think anyone set out to please everyone will succeed, so I’d say my personal goal is to please MOST with the decisions/votes I make and the time I put into it.

    Then, there is the property management company. They are hired by the association – required by our documents – to run our finances, relationships with vendors (landscaping, road, pool, etc.), collection agencies, insurance companies, and a bunch of things I probably don’t even know about. EnTrust has done a great job, in my mind, to make sure people pay their assessments and coordinate all the companies that it takes to maintain the property. Again, all of this, including the Board, the rules, and what MUST be kept up, is all mandatory. For instance, if the pool was not kept up, the water would be gross and the City would shut it down – which is not allowed, according to the CC&Rs. I’m just saying… all these things have been in place since before KB started building homes… and this is what you signed up for. We may like some of it, none of it or all of it, but we are here and can only make the best of it.

    Keep in mind, the Board doesn’t cruise around the neighborhood looking for issues and send you hate mail… The property management company does patrols every now and again looking for those issues. Then you get hate mail ;) Those neighbors you mention that have all the weeds and cars on blocks are sent the same letters. In some cases, people do not pay… then they rack up fines and late charges. Eventually they either move/sell, walk away, or eventually pay up. All the dos and don’ts are included in the CC&Rs (good nighttime reading!).

    I am the only one who manages the blog and I can assure you that I do not silence anyone. There is an anti-spam tool that catches around 150 pieces of spam each day… so perhaps it’s there. You can always shoot me an email if you don’t see your comment/post show up. theorchardsblog@gmail.com.

    Now, just as a person observing what this thread is all about (no, you didn’t ask my opinion but here it is anyways!)… Obviously whomever commented had valid reasons to be concerned, IMO. If you were away and a family member told you that someone was in the neighbor hood with a gun – you’d be concerned. The level of concern would obviously vary between people and based on the circumstance, but something would probably be done – whether that something be a call to 911, 242-COPS, walking up and saying What’s Up or whatever.

    You are saying that the reasons for concerns are BS and to mind your own… We all live here and shouldn’t have to mind our own. We should be looking out for one another and welcoming everyone. Sorry that you haven’t felt welcomed since you and your family have moved in, perhaps it’s the kind of attitude, to “mind your own”, that is causing a lack of welcoming. My approach is to be the Welcomer :)

    I’d be happy to discuss further with you sometime at the park or perhaps at the Potluck – I do hope you show up with some food!

    Hopefully with more involvement from the community, we can make this place a welcoming, inviting and fun place to live… the rest of the Board and I felt it was important to ask how the community felt because it’s sort of rare that people voice out. And when they do it’s during a short annual meeting that a lot of angry people show up to and not much gets done. Yes, happy people show up too, but those are the ones who have thoughtfully and respectfully expressed their opinions ahead of time and some even volunteer for various activities and committees.

    I’m glad that you’re involved this far… hopefully you and your family decide to welcome the rest of us into your shooting competitions (I am a member of Zia!) or just simply say hello next time a neighbor walks by.

    Good evening Sir,
    Chris

  12. the Sniper says:

    Well gents, I can see you put a lot of thought into this, so I’ll be equally as thorough.

    First of all…touche, to you both. You make some valid points, and some that can be contested. So–Mark, lets start with you.

    Nazi’s are a term that’s straight to the point about people that are dictating in their approach to rule. And it’s a lot less profane than a lot of other four letter words that could be used.

    Shooting guns in the neighborhood? If they’re no threat, in a controlled environment, with responsible people, it’s less of a bad idea than ‘not a good idea’. [I believe we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.]

    Ranting, and being unreasonable? Much easier in writing than in person, and done a lot more often in the information age. I’m not unreasonable, not one bit. I work with people for a living, and iron out problems with customers every day. It’s my job.

    Calling the cops, and giving you his number? He didn’t tell me that either. He told me he was sorry he had to approach us, and that it’d make life easier on us both if we complied. I agreed with him there.

    Gun safety? You’re singing to the choir, bub. But I appreciate that as much as you.

    As far as teaching my son right from wrong, and coaching him on breaking rules? I teach him to be reasonable. Period. And to use his best judgement. Do I think that rules were made to be broken? No. Do I think some rules are completely stupid, and unwarranted, and will never be enforced by any rational person? Absolutely. This was one of those times. There was no risk…none, or we wouldn’t have done it, and there was no harm nor foul to anyone, including us. As far as ‘what if he did vandalize’…again–I call complete BS on you and the original crybaby whistle blower for even considering that. For you, it was speculation. For him, as a witness, it was flat out dishonesty. That’s not very neighborly, now is it?

    On the subject of the ARC–I’m pretty sickened by them. I can’t build something as simple as a damn flower box in my driveway, because they’re so hell bent on keeping everyone’s house looking exactly the same. I can’t do anything in my front yard at all…nothing. No structures, no porch or gazebo, no garden. Nothing. My backyard is landscaped, so I don’t want to trash all that. There’s plenty of room up front for what I want to do, but I can’t do any of it, no matter how nice it looks, because it’s not exactly the same as everyone else. That sucks. Terribly. And it makes us all drones. Speaking of drones…in regards to the obnoxious warning letter that every gets? Re-structure that thing. Make it less drone-ish, and less threatening. Make a little more polite, and less people will be pissed about it like me.

    And, in closing…thanks for the offer to get involved, but that won’t be happening. I work hard enough at the job I have, without coming home and jumping into another one. I was a coach for ten years, and I know exactly what thankless work is all about. I commend you for trying, even if I don’t agree with your approach. Do what you think is right, but don’t expect me to like it when it steps on my toes, for whatever reason.

  13. the Sniper says:

    And to Chris–

    You seem a little more level-headed, and less hot under the collar. I like that.

    HOA, to my understanding, stands for ‘H’ome’O’wners ‘A’ssociation. Does it not? The conglomerate that we all form? It’s not a demographic or a geographic term, eh?

    Anti-spam may have caught my original post. If that’s the case, than my apologies.

    I don’t care if it’s enTrust, the Board, Barack Obama, or Jesus Christ that cruises the neighborhood and generates hate mail that comes my way. I put them all in the same group of people that drive me nuts.

    If someone called me, and told me there was two people shooting bb guns, I wouldn’t care at all. ‘Someone with a gun’ is a broad term, and is comparing apples to oranges. Nice try though.

    ‘We should be looking out for one another…’. AMEN, Brotha!! That includes respecting people’s privacy and not making trouble for them, even if you disagree with them. As long as they’re not hurting anyone, or destroying or infringing on other people’s property, why sling mud at them just because you think it’s right, or that you’re justified in doing so? Leave good enough alone if it’s the best decision.

    Lastly…on the topic of ‘a lot of angry people’ at your annual meetings. Yeah…consider the things I’ve said, and consider what you just said. I think there’s middle ground in this, I do…but I think there’s a long way to go for everyone to find it. The board, being the entity with all the power, needs to take the first steps to do that. Obviously what you got cookin’ now aint cutting it.

    Thanks for playing.

  14. the Sniper says:

    And lastly, to Dave–the catalyst in all this.

    As petty and childish as I think your call to the cops was, and as bad of a liar as you are, take pride in the fact that you opened a dialogue here that probably has more honesty than most of the others combined.

    I’d walk down to you place to shake your hand and congratulate you, but I don’t want the cops called on me.

  15. Mark says:

    Less profane, perhaps, but still a cheap shot.

    Yeah, we’ll disagree. Firearms, whether paintball guns, BB guns, pistols, or rifles, belong in areas built and maintained for their use, not (currently empty) lots within the community. Like it or not, that isn’t just the rule, that is the application of good sense and appropriate decision-making. And I’m surprised the officer who responded didn’t leave you his business card…a lot of officers do that these days, and not just supervisors.

    You’re right that all I can do is speculate about whether your son shot at the PVC pipes. I’m not going to call either of you a liar – you or Dave – which is why I used the word “if” and called it an observation. Lest this discussion deteriorate into a debate about definitions, I’ll stand by my assertion that **IF** your son (or anyone, for that matter) damages property owned by someone else, it’s vandalism if they don’t come forward and accept responsibility for the act. Further, my statement is still true (again, apply the “if” here) that IF he shot it and you didn’t bring him up short, you just finished the block of instruction on Relative Morality, or “how rules apply when it is convenient to apply them and that it’s alright to ignore them when it isn’t” (aka “it’s OK to ignore rules you consider ‘stupid’ if no one gets hurt”). Taking the other side, **IF** no such thing happened, then…well, we’re back to picking appropriate shooting ranges. We’ve covered that in enough detail, I think.

    On the ARC… Did you know that you can ask to have the full Board to review any request denied by the ARC? If you are dissatisfied about an ARC answer, that is the next step. Also, what were you told in the denial letter? From my time on the ARC, I can tell you that we almost always provide feedback or suggestions on alterations to proposals to make them more acceptable. We would never approve painting a front door pink, no matter which shade of pink is on the form…we’d never approve painting walkways a color that clashes with the house…but landscaping the front yard is absolutely allowed. Let me also tell you that Pat (enTrust as a whole) has VERY limited authority to deny things, so if you submitted something and the denial came right back from Pat directly…well, I want to know what was denied. The ARC wants to help people make some customization possible, as long as the modifications fit aesthetically within the community.

    I’d like to ask you to resubmit your ARC forms to enTrust, post to this forum when you have sent them, and I’ll watch for them from Pat. If you get denied again and I don’t see them, that helps me understand where the problem is. If I get them, I will get comments back to you – constructive comments, so you and the Committee can work out something. This is not a promise that we’ll approve whatever you send, but it is a promise to provide feedback on alternatives, if possible. Some things simply don’t fit and would not be approved, but at least you would get an explanation for such a denial.

    As for the letter that goes out… You understand the difficulty in balancing “would you please…” with “you will do this now…”. I, too, have a lot of customer service time (nearly two decades in customer-facing positions) and I understand the nuances required. I’m sorry if the letter is too blunt, but I will make sure that this Board works with Pat on the letters they send out to make them more polite, less “drone-ish” (though with form letters, that is tough), yet still a tool that gets the message across.

    I’m sorry you can’t serve. We need down-to-earth people on the Board who care enough about the community to volunteer their time. Smart folks who bring sense and reasonability to the table are in short supply (which could explain my presence on the Board). Perhaps by joining, your voice would balance out those who you think are too Nazi-like in their approach to the CC&Rs.

    Besides, we need folks on the Board who can help us get a better shine on our jackboots. ;)

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

  16. Robert says:

    I find it interesting that sniper seems to be want to be treated with a level of respect that he isn’t willing to give. I’ve been on this board since it was turned over from KB and he’s never introduced himself, made his complaints known or discussed what he believes are solutions to this tyranny he is living under. Instead he calls me an idiot, neighborhood nazi and crony with having no idea the amount of time and effort the board has put into this community. You seem to be offended that your neighbor didn’t approach you to work out a problem, but it seems to me you are doing the same thing to us. What started as a “beef” between neighbors somehow resulted in the board getting thrown under the bus. I get it, you don’t like receiving violation notices, but in all the ranting and name calling, you aren’t offering any ideas or solutions to what you perceive to be a problem. And when invited to step up and help, you say no. Well I guess as a board member I will say your complaints are duly noted and without your assistance all I can say is pull your weeds, store things properly in your yard and work with the ARC to get your building projects approved.

    As to your general dislike of the CC&Rs, I would offer this since you are unwilling to serve. Get in the car and spend some time driving around the non-HOA neighborhoods in this area. It’s what I do from time to time to remind myself why I continue to put time into this and pay the money I do.

    I can assure you that everyone on the board does what they do because they care about their homes, their neighbors and the community. And trust me when I say we don’t like all of the items in the CC&Rs, but we make the most of it. We can’t control what you do or don’t do and quite honestly I have no desire to do so. But seriously, at least accept responsibility for the choices you make, good or bad.

  17. the Sniper says:

    @ Robert;

    Respect is a two way street, man. And ‘the board getting thrown under the bus’ was a direct result of one of your fellow board members speculating, making assumptions, and pretty much labeling me a potential psycho for plinking with a BB gun. All after one whopping paragraph of misinformation from a ‘conscientious neighbor’ that was lying through his teeth. One of many examples of close-mindedness and lack of foresight by your precious board, and one of the main factors in my lack of respect and unwillingness to join them.

    On the subject of taking responsibility for my actions: I have, in standing up for what I think is right through my posts on this thread, and in facing the music with the police officer that was dispatched to scold me in front of my son. [game show buzzer] Sorry…thanks for playing, bub.
    Enjoy your parting gifts.

    I have never once doubted or mocked the amount of work that the board does. I have an idea what you’re up against with the pissed off neighbors, and CCR’s, and expectations of enTrust. I get that. But those things don’t concern me. What does concern me is this picture of rainbows and unicorns that gets painted about what a bang up job the board does, and how if everyone wanted to avoid getting patronized by them they should just shut their mouths, and not break the rules. Two of my three neighbors smoke pot on a regular basis. I smell it almost every night, and see them in the backyard doing it. Do I call the cops on them because that’s a violation of the charter? No. It’s their house, and it doesn’t infringe on me. I could care less. One of those two neighbors has sex so loud with the windows open that it sounds like an orgy half the time. I don’t complain about that either, even though I’m sure it violates the noise ordinances in place by the HOA.

    Are you seeing a pattern here? I hope this all makes sense. I never had any desire for a confrontation with you, your President or Vice, or any other board member, until they opened their mouth and rubbed my rhubarb. Then, the gloves came off. I’m sorry if you don’t think I’m willing to give respect that I expect, but I’m one that thinks it needs to be earned.
    And the board, thus far, in the way they’ve come across to me, haven’t.

  18. Mark says:

    Wow, Sniper, paraniod much? You think I considered you to be a psycho for plinking?? No, I said that people nowadays must be careful who they approach because there are psychos out there who might flip out if confronted. Hey, man, if the shoe fits…but I never called you a psycho. So, chill.

    If you think we on the Board are painting a picture of some utopia here, you may be inhaling a bit too much of your neighbors’ party favors. If anyone is aware that we have problems, the Board is. We’re about fixing the problems, and it really is too bad that you’d rather sit and criticize rather than being part of the solution. Hey, bub, your choice…but don’t expect respect for your concerns if all you want to do is throw stones (or shoot BBs) at those who do want to help.

    As as for what you want to call the cops for…Maybe the sex noise would break the rules and maybe it wouldn’t. That’s a call their neighbors need to make. Clearly, you made the call that you don’t care, so if it’s OK with you, then there isn’t a problem with you. If others call, that’s their decision, and that’s OK, too. But I would call your post a “sort-of” complaint – it obviously annoys you some, or you wouldn’t cite it as a notable event around your home.

    On the bit about your neighbor’s drugs…You, sir, are championing the theory of Relative Morality. “It doesn’t hurt anyone, so it’s OK.” Wow. Hey, whatever. Don’t call the cops, that’s your choice. If my neighbor toked up, you’d better believe I’d call APD. I’m sure that you aren’t surprised, but it would be about the law, not the CC&Rs, and I don’t appreciate the kinds of people potheads tend to associate with. Yes, that’s a broad brush, and yes, I’m sure that there are “normal” people out there who get high and I pass them on the street every day, etc, etc, etc. If they don’t have the good sense to keep their windows closed to keep their annoying and illegal habit inside, they get what they earn.

    Finally, your precious rhubarb not withstanding, I’d recommend to anyone in the community to call APD (or our new courtesy patrol company) to report things that are against common sense, safety, CC&Rs, or anything else they have concerns about. That’s their right. It’s your right, too, and despite your spiteful and distatsteful rhetoric in this post, I’d still support your decision if you made such a call.

    Your neighbors are lucky to have a neighbor like you who will wait until there’s a “REAL” problem before he calls them to account. Just don’t whine about the Board not doing anything when it finally pisses you off enough to complain since you won’t call about it before it becomes too big. I’m sure you’ll deny any such intention, though.

    I still want to know what ARC forms you had denied – maybe there’s something there to work with. It would be helpful if you could also post the approximate dates they were submitted – a month/year would be good enough.

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

    PS: If you don’t want Notices of Violation, don’t break the CC&Rs. How is that SO difficult to understand?

  19. slyderider says:

    @ Mark:

    You caught me on my way out the door, but I’ll shoot you a quick tidbit.

    My neighbors ARE lucky to have a neighbor that lets them live the way they like. But I have barked at them once or twice about their dog barking at 3 am, or sneaking out and crapping in my driveway. I do draw the line when it needs to be drawn, and yes, listening to people scream like pornstars does annoy me some. But it’s their house, and their choice, so I tolerate it. Why make enemies of your neighbors over something stupid? That’s been the point of every post I’ve written thus far.

    And as far as posting what was rejected by the ARC…I’m sure you have access to all the requests that have come and gone. I bet you can review those, and narrow the scope of who I am. Being the educated type, it seems, I imagine you’ve already reviewed those some, and narrowed down the margin. So, giving you more insight into my true identity by more information…well, that might foil my plans at world domination.

    Viva la Sniper!

  20. Julia says:

    I haven’t been on the blog in a long time (obviously), but feel I must comment.

    First, the main reason I’m even responding, I know of several “old” people that walk around the neighborhood daily. One of those couples is my parents. They are NOT the people that called the cops and are some of the niceset people you will ever meet. Please do not assume it is them! Talk to them, they’re amazingly wonderful people and not responsible for this headache!

    And I just have to say, wow… Total drama over something so silly! I think this can be summarized in a couple sentences.. Please don’t shoot bb guns, no matter how much safety you feel there is, in the community; it’s against the rules and apparently concerns some of your neighbors. Done.

    I agree with the board, if you have complaints, tell them, WITH ideas of how to solve them. Or join and see what they deal with on a daily basis. I think Robert phrased it very well! I think the board is doing an awesome, totally thankless job! There are so many different things to be dealt with and they’re dealing with what they can when they can, thank you so much for serving!

    I just have to say one more thing – the comments about parenting are uncalled for and unnecessary. I hate getting on here and seeing all the negative comments, but this went a little over the top for me. Just had to say it…

    Thanks – Julia

  21. Jim says:

    I thought it was worth mentioning that today, the 19th of November, my sons and I went up to the desert to plink with BB guns, to get out of the neighborhood, and away from anything or anyone that might get bent out of shape. And just when I thought people around here couldn’t get any more ridiculous, the fine folks of New Mexico surprised me yet again.

    It took all of an hour this time before an APD car pulled up and said someone called the cops. This guy cared even less than the first guy, and said we could keep shooting. His only request was that we haul our cans and trash off when we finished. He apologized, and said calls warrant an investigation, regardless of whether or not there’s an actual issue.

    We were shooting into a dirt hill this time, with open desert to the West in the background, no residences or people in the line of fire, and maybe a dozen cars that drove by roughly a hundred yards behind us. My boys are 9, 10, 11, and 13 respectively, and all had a gun in their hand. I was taking pictures and supervising, and didn’t have a gun of my own.

    What the hell is wrong with people? Do we really live in such a paranoid society that four kids shooting BB guns in the middle of nowhere is perceived as a threat? Assuming this person lived in or near our neighborhood concerns me a great deal. There was zero chance, ZERO, of any danger in what we did. Nor was there the first time we did it. I gave the police officer an earful about the stupidity of this. He laughed and said there’s a lot of ‘uninformed’ people, that have nothing better to do than complain. His advice was to stay out of sight.

    I moved here from Alaska. People shoot on the side of the road there, in their backyards, in the woods…where ever. There are no officials at any of the ranges–people just know and respect the rules of shooting and firearm ownership, and respect those. Is this state really that uptight? Lighten up people, and cool your jets. Jesus…

  22. melissainabq says:

    I stayed out of this last time because it spiraled so far out of control, but I can’t stay silent any longer.

    While I think it’s great that you finally went out to the mesa, I can’t believe you’re surprised that someone called the cops. 100 yards is a long way away, and if I drove by and saw people shooting a gun from that distance I’d call the cops, too.

    I think you seriously need to redefine your expectations for living in a city. This isn’t Alaska. If you miss it so much, I suggest you put a “for sale” sign out front and go back.

  23. Jim says:

    I do miss AK, and my family and friends, but have a pretty good thing going here, thanks very much.

    BB guns are fairly obvious in how they look, especially when five kids are shooting identical ones. And if you’re shooting into a backstop, away from the road and the neighborhood, which we were, what difference does it make if you’re shooting a bb gun or a machine gun? What, do people think we’re going to turn and unleash on them as they drive by? This sort of migrates back to my comment of my neighbors smoking pot. Why should I call the cops on them? It doesn’t hurt or affect me. It’s not like they’re climbing over the wall and offering dope to my kids. Should I be dialing 911 every time they sit in a lawn chair in their back yard in the dark and spark a doober? I don’t think so.

    This neighborhood baffles me. For as many upscale families as there seem to be, they seem to lack common sense and show a great deal of paranoia. If I saw a bunch of gangbangers capping off Mac 10’s into the desert, I might be inclined to dial the cops. But a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds with BB guns poses no threat whatsoever. Just because people have a cell phone and it’s easy to call the cops, they do. Frickin’ stupid.

  24. Mark says:

    “Assuming the person lives in [or near] this neighborhood…”

    Let’s put this post in the correct perspective. We don’t limit access to the blog to residents of the Orchards, so it isn’t quite impossible that the person who called APD would read it, but seriously, it isn’t bloody likely. You’ve essentially just used this blog to post your frustrations. While it might be theraputic to get it out, the odds are poor (at best) that your post will accomplish anything. If the person who called APD didn’t get your earlier frustration, I’d venture the wild guess that this post didn’t make much more difference to them.

    For the record, I don’t care if your family spends every day on county-owned land shooting BB guns, provided the roadway is beyond their real maximum effective range. I get the risks involved and don’t think you should pay a range fee for BBs. (What BERNCO Sheriffs think is another matter – I don’t know and won’t push that button myself.) What irritates me is the folks who shoot handguns and rifles out there… Those are the ones I’d call the cops about. So…it wasn’t me.

    Mark Racicot
    Director-at-Large, The Orchards HOA BoD

  25. Jim says:

    Finally a voice of reason.

    I’ve to the Bernco range by the volcano. The range officials are way too strict, it’s overcrowded, and overpriced. I can’t stand going out there.

    I honestly am not too concerned with people shooting whatever they want out in the middle of nowhere if they’re safe about it. The thing that really bothers me? All the assholes that think the desert is a good place to throw their trash. It’s ridiculous, and disgusting. We were shooting bows out there one day, and saw an old Mexican guy pull up about 100 feet away and proceed to empty his entire Sandford and Son looking truck full of garbage bags and construction waste on the ground. Like it was nothing. I wanted to go ream that guy, but knew it wouldn’t make any difference, and might cause a confrontation.

    Anyway…you’re right Mark. I’m venting. But considering that we all have to live here, and that being open and honest, even when people don’t want to hear it, is the best way to resolve problems.

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