Sunday, June 23, 2019

How Was Your Weekend?

I spent part of mine removing standing water from the shrub bed at the front of our house. Despite repeated requests to our management company, FirstService Residential, nothing has been done to solve this problem. It's clearly our Association's responsibility, but that doesn't seem to make any difference. So Saturday morning, after a week of heavy rain, I got out the wet vac to get the water out of the bed and give it a chance to dry out a little over the nice sunny weekend that was forecast. With more showers coming in the week ahead, it was a temporary solution at best, but I hope it's enough to help the shrubs survive for now. There's a big rhododendron at the corner of the house that is struggling and probably has root rot caused by the bad drainage. The rhododendron that was next to it had to be removed. Both were already large, mature plants when we bought the house 18 years ago. It's a shame to see beautiful, long-established landscaping ruined by poor maintenance. As I noted in my previous post, one of our property managers, Anna DeSimone, finally came and looked at the problem in mid-April (although I raised it with FirstService months before that). She brought a representative of our Association's landscape contractor, BrightView. Since then nothing has been done and it seems nothing will be done. So much for carefree condo living.

Friday, June 21, 2019

FirstService . . . or NoService?

After waiting over eight months for help—any kind of help—with a drainage problem, we had received no assistance. We had hoped a visit in mid-April by Anna DeSimone, one of the managers from FirstService Residential, and a BrightView representative would finally bring some action. But we heard nothing further after that. Then, in a chance encounter a few days ago outside our home, the same property manager finally admitted (two months after she was here) that no action would be taken. It seems like our Association has no intention of even trying to alleviate the water problem, and Ms. DeSimone wasn't even going to give us the courtesy of saying so.

Then to make matters worse, our landscape contractor BrightView just mowed our very wet, poorly drained lawn after a week of heavy rain. These pictures show the results. 

How much do we have to pay in monthly maintenance fees before we get the service we're paying for?

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

KHS Spring Program: New World Dutch Barns

On Thursday, June 6, 2019, the Kingston Historical Society will hold its spring program on New World Dutch barns. The program will take place in the barn at Rockingham State Historic Site at 84 Laurel Avenue in Kingston. Admission is free.

The program will begin at 7:00 pm with Victory Chase's video on the Rockingham Barn Raising, and refreshments will be served. At 7:45 pm, Elric Endersby will deliver an illustrated talk, "Arcades and Anchorbents: The Origins and Characteristics of New World Dutch Barns."

Elric Endersby is a founding partner of The New Jersey Barn Company, which disassembled the ruinous late 18th century Nevius Barn from the Middlebush area of central Franklin Township in 1999, and raised it at Rockingham in 2013. Victory Chase recorded this work on video over five weeks, from October 21 to November 25, 2013.

Photo of Rockingham Barn, Rockingham Historic Site, Kingston, courtesy of Elric Endersby