THE END OF PRIVACY...The "Hedge" Law Intrusion And Health Care House Calls!

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

 

TTHE END OF PRIVACYHE END OF PRIVACY...The "Hedge" Law Intrusion And Health Care House Calls!

There have been 2 events in the past week that have given me a sense that this country has turned a corner; I am a law abiding citizen and I have never been put in a position where my privacy was disturbed---Until Now!

 

THE NEW HEDGE LAW:

"This law (contained in Chapter 41 of the Village Code) was only adopted in September, 2011.  It requires the owner of the "boundary line hedge" to take care of the entire hedge, which includes trimming the top and side facing the adjoining neighbor at least once a year, no later than July 31 of each year.  The one proviso is that the neighbor has to give the owner access to do the trimming"

In my last post, WHEN IS A LAW TOO MUCH LAW???....A look At A Village Gone Haywire! I was surprised at how strong the reaction to the idea of NOW THERE ARE FIST FIGHTSthe "Hedge" law was. The post stirred up such ire in the comments of  those who read and commented on it that it got me to thinking:

 

I wrote that post to make a point of the way even smaller governments are gaining overbearing power just as the Federal Government is doing. I guess that may be where it all starts--we don't even know what has hit us yet! I feel likeTHE END OF PRIVACY! the clues are all there; there are so many indications that Government is taking more and more of our freedoms away! The new hedge law here in Southampton Village is symbolic of just how intrusive Government is getting---and that goes for Local as well as the Federal Government!

First of all, it used to be that if you had a hedge on your property here in Southampton Village, it did not matter who planted it--if you did not want to trim it, you didn't---simple as that. You got to look at an unruly hedgerow and that was that. The neighbor on the other side however, might decide to trim their side of the hedge and they would usually just trim the top on your side as well. That is the way things have been done since hedges were first planted between neighbors.

Now there are fights happening, numerous complaints to the Village building/zoning department and hedges are left to go to seed in many cases. The Village is in complete and utter disarray! Fences are quickly becoming popular now.

MY VIEW POINT: I SEE THE HEDGE TIMMING LAW AS SYMBOLIC OF A BIGGER INTERFERENCE.

Hedges are a protection--they are security of sorts but more than anything, they are protective of privacy. Now, what is the one thing that each and every one of us are worrying about right now? You are right!...Privacy is the one thing that we feel we do not have anymore! So, does it surprise anyone out there that there is desperation with regard to any messing around with our privacy???

The hedges are just a tiny part of what we are really upset about, collectively. Something just tells me that if this is left to simmer, if the intrusion on our existence is messed with in any way any more, then we are lost....and that makes me very fearful. I always look at the Hamptons, especially Southampton Village as the microcosm of the macrocosm and if you read my comment to Chris and Dick in #43 on the other post you may have a clue why. First of all I reacted to the "Rich" tag that was made an issue of in that comment and I gave the societal  breakdown of this Village so that all of you can see and maybe understand why I feel I can make an observation that may make sense to all Americans from most communities. 

We are a small example of the larger picture and I can see that the hedges and the authoritarian attitude by our small government is already changing things here. We have a relatively small wealthy population; the wealthy here represent about 1/3 of the entire community---everybody else here is employed in one way or another mostly by the wealthy few. Housekeepers, cooks, landscapers, builders, carpenters, pool people etc...Then you have the infrastructure with police, teachers, road crews and there are small businesses such as stationary stores, specialty foods, green grocers and specialty clothing stores all with their employees and this represents the other 3/4 of the Village population.

Now, today I received a letter from my Heath Insurance Company--I was astounded to read this letter because it is telling me that in order for them to continue my coverage, they have to come TO MY HOME!--Yes, you  heard right---AN IN-HOME VISIT FROM MY HEALTH CARE COMPANY!!! A ---What is that? I dare them to comeNOW MY HEALTH-CARE COMPANY IS MAKING HOUSE CALLS! to my home!!!...This is getting really scary!

 

In these times of scandal in our country, corruption and downright invasion of privacy on a grand scale, we are left with no way of defending ourselves---even an election can not keep us safe from "Big Brother" apparently. I know of no one who is accepting of this new order and so I would like to ask  you the following:

  • Do you like the way things are going in your community?
  • Do you care if less care is used in using our private information?
  • Do you see new laws being created to try to stem an individuals rights in how they live their lives?
  • Are you finding invasion of privacy is becoming more and more prevalent?
  • Has your Health insurance company started making "House Calls"???

I am sure that if all of you look at your own communities you can find a law or two that is changing the face of your town. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW IF YOU HAVE A COMPARISON TO THE "HEDGE" LAW OR IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN RECEIPT OF A HOUSE CALL NOTICE FROM YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER:

 

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Ambassador
2,358,004
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Half the people in America yearn to be Free.  The other half want to oppress, micro-manage, monitor, and supervise the people in the first group.  This is not going to end well.

Jul 08, 2013 10:36 AM #2
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Jennifer: I do think that the internet was the precursor to all of our woes today having to do with privacy--it is such a dark place when you look at how many people use it and because of that it became a perfect spot for privacy to be trampled--under the guise of protecting people from becoming victims---now look where we are with the NSA etc....

Jul 08, 2013 10:37 AM #3
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Fred: I agree with your analysis however I think it is that MOST people want to be free, to be allowed to live freely without intrusion. I think we are just beginning to get an idea of how large the group is of those who are willing to destroy freedom!!...All under the guise of protection! What a ruse!

Jul 08, 2013 10:40 AM #4
Ambassador
1,541,659
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Paula,

You may be right Paula, it really might have started with the internet. What so many people have demonstrated is that they were willing to air their lives private and otherwise to anyone who would notice. And then become surprised that they are part of an even larger collection of information. 

How sad that common sense and personal responsibility have given way to authoritative micro-management by people we do not even know. They vote themselves authority way beyond health and safety issues that might affect it's citizens.

I am suggesting!

 

Jul 08, 2013 03:17 PM #5
Rainmaker
686,759
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Paula: Love your new photo! As to the hedge law, different communities have different laws. Hope citizens will rise to the occasion in your community and not give up on their hedges.

Jul 08, 2013 03:32 PM #6
Ambassador
1,041,801
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Paula, I am curious to know why they are doing a home visit. Is it because they want to make sure you are who you are based on fraud? I can't imagine what reason they are insisting on this. Are you paying for this intrusion because they somehow wrote policies to people that duped them somehow?  Do they no longer trust anyone? Were they sued? I am very curious as to why this is going on. Don't get me wrong, I have no love for insurance companies. I am just wondering what caused this to happen.

As far as the hedge law, I have mixed emotion. I have recently seen two examples of people who created a bad situation for neighbors. One followed the letter of the law and actually ended up in the news years ago. They got mad at their neighbors and put up a privacy fence. When you put that fence up you are supposed to keep the "good side" facing the neighbors. They painted it bright pink and put that side toward the neighbor. It was on national news no less. They did nothing wrong and it still sits there, bright pink, as a monument to stubbornness and stupidity.

The second is one who put a dock up that impedes the neighbors dock access. And why did they do that? Because it is all about them. No thought to anyone else. And it is a very, very prevalent attitude. I can't say more about it right now.

Just yesterday someone was speaking to me about why they had to do something, how unfair it was. I agreed, but the bottom line is... the reason? Simple thing that I learned as a child. A few ruin it for the rest.

And as to my privacy, well... we rather did that to ourselves IMHO. I have never believed anything was private unless of course you never told anyone, you never shared anything, you kept to yourself totally. And now, if you want privacy, stay off the internet totally. If its not the government, its someone hacking our information. Private citizen or government, there is nothing that really is private.

Jul 08, 2013 09:22 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,397,838
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I agree totally with you on this. I think more to the fact...what are we paying these people for...lol

Jul 08, 2013 11:41 PM #8
Rainer
284,418
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Paula -- if there is enough unrest about the "hedge law" in a small town setting, it should be easy enough to get enough folks together to talk to the town council about modifying/repealing it.  Having been on a town council for many years -- if there was something that didn't work right, we either changed it or did away with it.

Jul 09, 2013 02:23 AM #9
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

William: Thank you so much! It is not so surprising that "privacy" is looked upon as an old fashioned and outmoded personal choice by many. In my mind, if we allow this to go forward without even attempting to make a demand that privacy is a matter of good, healthy living and must be treated as such, then we may as well go all out and give in to the things that the NSA and other parts of our government are doing. The next thing that we may then have to worry about is what the competing agencies do with our data--Will there be  "information wars" to see who can beat the other agencies out with the most data, good or bad???

Hella: Thank you--I needed to update that old photo and it was not easy to psyche myself into "revealing" the inevitable changes that happen to all of us! I too hope that the population of this Village does not give in and give up on the way they have been handling the trimming of the hedges so far.

 

Jul 09, 2013 02:33 AM #10
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Andrea:  I personally think it is an age thing but I don't care what the reason is; they are telling me they have partnered with a company called :"Complex Care Solutions" which makes it seem like they think I am in need of complex care??? It is a ruse just to get into the publics homes IMHO--And I do think there is something to do with the "Affordable Health Care Law" with which we are just beginning to see the impact on our lives. I never even use my health care insurance and this is what I get? It would be interesting to see just how many other people are getting this letter and from what insurance companies?

As to the Hedge Law here in the Village, I do think there is a need on the part of all governments Local and Federal  to get their hands on the day to day activities in people's lives. In those activities is information and there is a value to that information---money in other words. Huge corporations pay millions for information on the public, so why not make that a way to more revenue? someone here in the Village now has to record and keep track of just who put the hedgerow in place and when...which means the homeowner who plants it may now have to get a permit to do it in the first place so that the Village knows who has to trim the hedge! What a complicated mess!

Jul 09, 2013 02:54 AM #11
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Jeffery: Yes! And who are we paying??? I bet you have no idea who is in place in the agencies that are charged with keeping track of all this information---Look at the street corners in many communities; they now have cameras on each and every  street crossing and they can see where we go in a given time frame and who we speak to on the street or who we get into a car with ---even where we eat!!!

Steven: Well, in this case some people who do not want to trim the hedges on their property did that; they gathered and met and took their case to the Village and got the law passed without a vote or anything--they just wielded their power to get the law in place and that is that---Now, if the other side decides they want to fight it they have to gather greater numbers of people, many who are here on weekends only in the summer (this is a resort area--second home market) so it is highly unlikely that anything will get changed until maybe a vote in the next election... 

Jul 09, 2013 03:24 AM #12
Ambassador
2,740,947
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Who are you and what have you done with Paula Hathaway??

The hedge law syndrome is one of the reasons I moved to the sticks. 

Jul 09, 2013 05:58 AM #13
Rainmaker
94,433
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

 I am with Steven Cook, it should be relatively easy to fix in a small community.  These council members can and should be replaced if they are not representing the people who elected them.

Another solution is to cut down your hedge.  Oops!  There goes the neighborhood.

Jul 09, 2013 06:09 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,086,475
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

A whole new you!  

I am thinking that your health care insurer must be a very small company to attempt to make home visits. Could a huge one like Blue Cross do this?  I think not.  But more ominously, why would they want to?

Jul 09, 2013 07:09 AM #15
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Lenn: I guess you  mean the photo? That old picture of me was so out of date I needed to make the change but it takes a while to get it done! I am still me however. I don't blame you for moving "to the sticks"! I thought I was living in the sticks since I left New York--guess I had better find some other sticks! :)

Roger: That's what is beginning to happen here and the stockade fences are going up! Not what they planned at all... I don't know the purpose of making the law since there really was no problem! The only thing that seems logical is that it gives the Village a better way to "control" the  neighborhoods...those who don't want hedgerows now can step back and let the entire street go to fencing which I happen to think is awful!

Margaret: That's what I am thinking...if it's being done to all their policy holders, what happens if they get a big fat 0 in response. This letter even told me to CALL them for an appointment! What nerve! It will be a cold day in He-- before I allow such a thing...Maybe that's the intent; maybe they want to lose certain policy holders and this is a covert way to see to it that it happens. I don't know anymore---and I don't trust anyone anymore!

Jul 09, 2013 08:56 AM #16
Ambassador
2,876,671
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

Paula love the new look - very cool!

As for the hedge thing - how ridiculous.  Here in Phoenix if you want to cut your side of the hedge that's fine - just don't touch the neighbors or go in without permission.  We don't have an HOA and that's fine by me.  HOA's out here are getting way out of control with stupid rules and fine to back them up.

As for the home visit that is way expensive for them to be about making house calls - without being invited.  What law says you have to let them in. That is crazy. And yes I do think the Health Care Law is only just beginning to show it's ugly head for what it all really means.  So far it's been costing us about 4K+ a year out of pocket first (if we used our coverage at all) I don't see where it's been of benefit to us and many like us one tiny bit.

Jul 09, 2013 10:28 AM #17
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Anna: Thank you; it took me some time to decide to change that old photo--I was used to it I guess and now I can't believe it took me so long (someone should write a post on the internal struggle we go through over keeping our profile photos up to date!--I don't think I am alone, do you? Maybe I will)

...Anyway, this home visit letter just came today and I can not believe the utter GALL it took for them to write it! It's like: "We really want to know if you are healthy or not and by going into your home (Invading your privacy!) we will be able to snoop around to see if you are on drugs or are an alcoholic or are a deviant (oops, I think that is a bit far!) or some weirdo who will start running up medical costs at our expense at any given moment!! In fact we may decide to have you flagged for disposal if we think you are not worth keeping around for the long term" ...I am so healthy, I am surprising myself and this is what I get in return!!!:(

Jul 09, 2013 10:44 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,304,481
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

I just had my annual phisical and could not believe the new affordable care act and the questions that have for us to answer.

Jul 17, 2013 01:25 PM #19
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Joe: It has become so complicated to just go to the doctor anymore! I can see that it won't take much for me to just discontinue Medical doctors--and that is a shame, especially for the doctors!

Jul 19, 2013 01:37 AM #20
Rainer
340,595
Bill Lauler
Chase Realty LLC - McLean, VA
Associate Broker,CIPS,CRB,SRES,GRI

Hi Paula , I was just in to see my eye doctor and I just turned 65. You should see the new forms! They wanted to know my cultural back ground, so since we were from Scotland and built the rail road across Canada . I checked off all that might apply : as to culture I wrote in Celtic. The form was intrusive at best..it is a sign of the times. .big government must go!

Jul 23, 2013 10:06 PM #21
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Rainmaker
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!
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