Day: August 29, 2011

Court: HOA discriminated against disabled boy

The McNary Estates Homeowners Association violated the Fair Housing Act by not accommodating a developmentally disabled boy, a Marion County judge ruled last week. The Aug. 23 letter from Circuit Court Judge Joseph Guimond states the association was in error by barring a homeowner from installing privacy screens that he said prevents the boy from wandering off into the adjacent golf course. The 11-year-old child is the son of a homeowner’s girlfriend, who regularly stays at the house along with her son. The Fair Housing Act bars discrimination against any person in their dwelling because of their handicap. “Let’s say I’m in a wheelchair and I need a wheelchair ramp to get to my house,” said Norm Hill, a Salem attorney who represented plaintiff John Oswald. “And I have an association that says they don’t really like the look of wheelchair ramps” and subsequently bans them. “The only person that it impacts is the guy with the wheelchair. The law says you can’t do that … or at least you better have a real good reason why you’re gonna do that.” Once the judgment is entered the association must accommodate the boy’s disability and pay the plaintiff’s court and attorney costs. Richard Meneghello, the attorney representing the McNary HOA, declined comment. Oswald, who lives next to the golf course within the association, had been attempting to install four-foot fabric...

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Jobless rate up again in Salem

The local unemployment rate continued to rise in July, going up to 9.9 percent as a state economist says job loss is accelerating. June’s revised unemployment rate for the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area was 9.8 percent, up slightly from the initial jobless figure of 9.7 percent. The Salem MSA includes Keizer. Still it’s almost a full point lower than was the jobless number in July 2010. However, the area has lost some 2,900 jobs since July 2010, with 2,700 jobs lost between June and July. This is a higher-than-typical job loss rate, according to Pat O’Connor, regional economist for the state of Oregon. He said the area typically drops about 1,000 jobs between June and July. In key sectors: • Educational and health services gained 200 jobs in the past year • Manufacturing has shed about 700 jobs in the previous 12 months • Construction added 100 positions in July, but has lost 500 in the past year. • Leisure and hospitality added 100 jobs. • In the public sector, local government shed 2,300 jobs for the month while state government dropped 600...

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