Off the Press
September 4, 2012
By Kathleen R. Merrill
Apples, plastic bags and elections, oh my!
It’s been nearly three weeks since we wrote a story about the apples (and plums and nuts, oh my!) on Northwest Gilman Boulevard.
Since, I have seen numerous families and groups of friends climbing the trees, standing on ladders and finding other ways to get the fruit from the trees.
Yesterday I saw three groups of folks gathering fruit. The previous Saturday, there were four groups on the other side of the boulevard.
My favorite sight so far has been a man, woman and two children — the adults jumping into the low-hanging branches with tennis rackets while the children scrambled to catch the fruit before it hit the ground.
I love this aspect of journalism. We tell people about something they can do, and they go and do it. So awesome.
Of course, maybe all of those people saw the fruit on the ground and just decided to stop to gather it and pick it from the trees. But I bet our story, with the map of where and what is located on Gilman’s fruit tour, helped the situation. Did you know there were 25 types and they were all for the public?
Reader Ken Sessler wrote in to say that the leftovers should go to the food bank. I think that’s a good idea. I hope someone else does, too, and picks what is left at the end of the season later this month.
From fruit to a conundrum, the city is confusing people with a ban on plastic bags and then providing such bags for people to pick up after their dogs. Reader Jean McMullan commented about the situation on our website.
Aside from this confusion are the mixed messages people are getting about what bags are banned and from what “retailers,” and when it starts. What about garage sales, reader Kate Kaluzny asks. Can you give people plastic bags at those? According to the way the law is written, attorney Kaluzny says, you cannot.
Overheard in a store this weekend, a clerk telling a customer: “Yes, plastic bags will be banned and you’ll have to pay to use them if you bring them to the store.”
Um, actually you’ll have to pay a nickel for each paper bag you need if you don’t bring your own bags.
Whew! It’s all enough to make your head spin.
Speaking of spin, it’s election time (like you could miss all the brouhaha if you wanted to).
Time for the endless yard signs cluttering up the landscape, the diatribes about opponents, the ugly accusations, the rumors and innuendo, the attack ads and commercials, the ridiculous spending that comes with elections these days.
Here’s an idea — how about people taking care of the environment without legislation forcing them to and telling the truth about themselves and their opponents at all times? Yeah, you’re right, that’ll never happen.