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Some opinion updates

Some of you Gazette-Bulletin readers have the city fathers tearing out their hair. It has been several years since I reminded you in this space that you are not supposed to shoot your grass clippings into the gutter or street when you mow. I made up a little poem to put at the top of the page. It went, “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, do you know what the ordinance is?” Apparently it is time to run the poem and reminder about grass clippings again. Recent heavy rains, followed by days of bright sunshine, have made it difficult to keep up with mowing. The grass in some yards has been rainforest tall.

Many of your mowers belched giant globs of grass clippings from lawns onto streets and gutters this past weekend. The next rain will carry it all off into the storm drains, where it will turn to slime and muck as it bogs down the flow of rainwater. Not good.

However, what you really should know is that the ordinance against this practice also allows for a fine of $100 plus court costs. This ordinance should come as a surprise to no one. It has been in the book for decades because it includes wording that prohibits horse dung and coal clinkers from being deposited in streets and gutters as well. When was the last time you shoveled out a horse barn in the city limits or fired up a coal furnace?

Anyway, do the right thing and spare yourself the grief of a ticket and fine. Turn your mower so the grass is ejected back into the yard for the first two or three passes next to the curb or street. It won’t hurt anything, and you won’t see your name in print for a hefty municipal court fine.

A Doyle Valley Farmers Market vendor brought me a huge tomato today. I think it is about a three-pounder. She reminded me that back in the old days, local gardeners would bring produce to the newspaper office and there would be an announcement and perhaps a photo of Farmer Wilson and four-foot zucchini squash or a green pepper that looked like the face of a goat.

The tomato she gave me was probably not the biggest of this growing season, but it is certainly the biggest one I have seen so far. Each slice will be large enough to cover two good-sized hamburgers. I am not sure why I am telling you this, but it is just such a big tomato! I am almost tempted to picture it in the paper, but I can see that opening up a plethora of issues about what one considers to be unusual produce.

And I have one more thing I especially want to share with my five regular readers because they will remember me mentioning this guy in the past. Richard Jenkins, a high school classmate, was nominated for a best actor Oscar in 2009 for his portrayal of Dr. Vale in “The Visitor.” I said in one column that I get to be on his list of co-stars along with Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, the Farrelly brothers, and many others because he and I were in a ninth grade musical called the “Shoemaker and the Elves.” Well, Dick has done it again. I just found out that he is in “Eat, Love, Pray” with Julia Roberts, opening in a couple of weeks. How about that?

Bill Meyer told me once that his mother, who was a newspaper woman many years ago, was fond of saying, “You can make a story out of anything.” I think I just made three.

— Susan Marshall

Last modified July 22, 2010

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