“I Want to Be Alone”

Dear Short Answers: I have a neighbor who is too encroaching. Now he says he’d like to start going to the gym with me. I want to be on good terms, but I’m not interested in this. I’d also like more privacy whenever I’m outside just going to and from my car. This is a [...]

Make It Go Away

Dear Short Answers: A neighbor of mine is collecting money for a local charity. I like the neighbor and want to be friendly but I don’t like the charity and would not contribute on my own. Do I just ignore her request? Do I explain my feelings about the charity (which would probably anger her [...]

May I Help You?

Dear Short Answers: My neighbor is elderly and becoming frail. We are friends and I would like to help her with her garden this year. How do I offer without offending her? Younger in Springtime Dear Younger: Keep it light. No need for lengthy explanations. Drop by on a nice day and say “put me [...]

If You’re Not Part of the Solution

Dear Short Answers: My neighbor has two small children (around 10 or 12 years old I think). When they come home from school every day, they have to wait outside in the front yard until their mother comes home to unlock the front door. Now that it’s getting colder, I am worried about them. Should [...]

Uneasy Truce

Dear Short Answers: Is there any way to keep birds from nesting in my hanging plants? Unwilling Landlord Dear Unwilling: We have the same problem!  We have tried removing the nest as its being built, moving the plant, dryer sheets, loud noises, slamming doors, dirty looks, and finally a negotiation with mom: you stay but [...]

Yackity Yack/Bow Wow

Dear Short Answers: We live in a neighborhood where there are 20 plus dogs who yip, yap, yelp and bark constantly. We get no peace trying to enjoy our deck and yard. The neighbors show no respect for taking their dogs in when they start barking. Some even leave for the day and leave the [...]

It’s (Still) a Free Country

Dear Short Answers: The house next door is for sale and my wife and I are very concerned that we get the right family — quiet with no little kids. The last family had two little terrors who started playing outside (weather permitting) at the crack of dawn every Saturday and Sunday. My wife wants [...]

Judge Not

Dear Short Answers: My next door neighbor is an artist who lost her husband about 5 years ago. She has become very close with her gardener who suddenly seems to be living with her. I am afraid that he is taking advantage of her money and her loneliness. How do I stop this from happening? [...]

Decoration or Danger?

Dear Short Answers: At what age do you think it’s acceptable for a child to get a tattoo? There is a single mother in our neighborhood who has gotten tattoos (and piercings) for her two small children who I think are about age 2 and 4. I think this is totally inappropriate. I don’t really [...]

Bring on the Big Guns

Dear Short Answers: When you live in an apartment complex and are being harassed by a potentially harmful tenant — and getting no help from management — should you sue? I renewed my lease last month, which is being violated by both of them, and have no plans to move. Creeped Out Dear Creeped: Write [...]

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