Leaves piling up

I am a proud resident of a Tree City USA. That means we have beautiful tree-lined streets with an important urban canopy. That means come fall, we have a boatload of leaves. ...

Once that golden glow turns to a heap of brown leaves in the lawn, patio and driveway, you are now expected to rake and dump them in the newly provided greenery can. ...

I can fill the green can by raking a 6-foot by 6-foot bit of yard or one pass across the patio. Now what? And, yes, they are still falling.

We are told during designated months we can also put out bags of leaves. I tried putting a bag inside of a garbage can, filling it with leaves.

Then there was no way the bag will come out. ...

On trash day I looked down the alley and saw four open trash cans of leaves at one neighbor’s, two cans at another. I put out an additional garbage can of leaves.

Well, they are all still sitting there. ...

Is it really harder to empty a garbage can into the truck than it is to heft a bag? ... Sure, I can “rent” an additional greenery can ... but what about the rest of the year? ...

Am I not helping the city by keeping leaves from going into the storm drains? I called Lewiston’s solid waste department to ask for a solution. The very cordial lady is going to call me back — some day.

Shirley Phillips


Natural recovery best

The National Park Service just completed taking public comments concerning the possible reintroduction of grizzly bears in the North Cascades of Washington. The recovery area includes North Cascades National Park, which contains designated wilderness, as well as other adjacent wilderness areas. Bears would be translocated from British Columbia and Montana via helicopter.

Grizzly bears are native to the North Cascades, but were largely extirpated in the 20th century. It is believed a few bears still survive in the region. This may be due to grizzly populations that exist in British Columbia, with bears moving between Canada and Washington. Despite connectivity, the government failed to analyze the natural recovery of bears in the Cascades.

Capturing bears from Montana turns a blind eye to current recovery efforts in the northern Continental Divide ecosystem. Removing bears could also hamper the natural recovery of bears in the Bitterroot recovery zone of Idaho and Montana. A male grizzly dispersed from the Cabinet-Yaak area to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness this summer. The bear did this with no human intervention.

The heavy-handed recovery of bears in the North Cascades would require hundreds of helicopter landings inside wilderness. This is a ridiculous proposal because the use of motorized equipment is incompatible with wilderness character. A federal judge recently ruled the U.S. Forest Service was wrong for allowing the Idaho Department Fish and Game to use helicopters inside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The natural recovery of bears would be better for wilderness and possibly the bears, too.

Brett Haverstick


Douse the flames

To many Americans, deep political rage, like California wildfires, is consuming our republic.

Raging politics is the mother of deplorable intolerance. History is besieged with this fatal human flaw.

Paraphrasing Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”: You can have prolonged (political and/or military) wars or a strong nation, but you can not have both. Numerous historians, religions and behavioral social biologists point their fingers at the crushing fatality of civilizations and rhesus monkeys wiping out opposing rhesus clans.

But wait.

There are lawful actions that would pour water on our firestorm:

1. A constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress, federal judges and Supreme Court justices. When the Constitution was enacted, the average lifespan was 47. Political careers and judgeships were not that long.

2. This second lawful action would require no constitutional amendment and could be enacted by a vote in the House of Representatives. It would spread political representation by returning each congressional district to no more than one member per 50,000 people rather than one to 600,000.

3. Prohibit members of Congress from lobbying after they leave office.

Douse the fires.

There are viable possible American actions that would cool global-worldwide burning rage.

Let’s be the model.

Pass this message to others.

Gerald Weitz


Recommended for you