Friday, September 21, 2007

"This is Florida. . .you never know"

Web dispute rages in Sarasota

What he calls liberty, they call a breach of community rules


SARASOTA COUNTY -- Kamel Zaki has lived in nearly a dozen countries and found something to disagree with, he admits, in every one of them.

But the first place he has been officially threatened for expressing an opinion is Palmer Ranch.

Zaki is at odds with the homeowners association in his 254-home community called The Hamptons, which wants to prevent him from sponsoring a Web site he calls HamptonsNBC.

As suggested by what those initials stand for -- Neighbors for a Better Community -- Zaki, a former president of the homeowners association, has some issues with how The Hamptons is being run these days.

"Grievances and propaganda" is how the association's attorney described the Web site's content, in a certified letter Aug. 9 demanding that Zaki cease any use therein of the trademarked name The Hamptons.

Zaki is willing to gamble as much as $10,000 on hiring legal representation to contest the fine and the Web site ban, but his wife, Eugenia, is nervous, because, as she says, "this is Florida," and "you never know." SH_T

Letter to Zaki from the lawyers.

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