Brickbat: Quick Action


Less than two weeks after a driver rammed into one of the bedrooms of his Austin, Texas, home, Chris Newby got a letter from the city telling him his house was now in violation of city code and that he had 30 days to get it repaired or he faced $2,000 a day in fines. The letter was dated on the day the driver smashed into Newby's home. City officials said the building inspector was notified about the accident by the fire department and that it is city policy to send such letters after a house is damaged. "This was a catastrophic incident and they wanted to ensure that the homeowners were safe and the building was safe," said Matthew Noriega, a division manager with the Austin Code Department.