Tough Times Ahead

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Opinion, Political on July 28, 2011

Trash Recycling with Disposal Containers

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Did you happen to catch the news today? I know times are hard right now but these young men could have caused some serious problems. A community doesn’t spend $2,000 for a 200 foot section of guard rail, unless it’s needed.

Suspects Arrested In Guard Rail Theft

Sonora, CA– Tuolumne County Sheriff’s authorities arrested two men early
this morning suspected of stealing a portion of a guard rail.

According to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jeff Wilson, a report was made
Monday regarding a 200 foot section of guard rail valued at approximately $2000
missing from Shawmut Road.

After the Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation this week, Deputy
Paul Speers discovered two men this morning at around 2 am, near the section of
the missing rail. He also noticed another section of rail had been unbolted from
its posts and was laying on the ground. Speers says he had checked the area
earlier and knew the rail was still on its posts at that time. [continue reading…]

I had heard that people were stripping copper wiring and copper plumbing, out of their houses before the bank foreclosure. Would you be surprised to learn that this case is not all that unusual? For instance in Augusta, GA.

Metal thefts bring renewed scrutiny

Sheriff’s Investigator Kendall Brown can legally question anyone waiting in line to recycle their metal. But on a recent morning Brown was biding his time, patiently scanning the scrapyard crowd through the tinted windows of his silver Impala.

“You have to read the person, watch what people are loading,” said Brown, who coordinates the newly resurrected CSRA Metal Theft Task Force. The task force is a holdover from 2008, when a spike in theft followed a jump in the prices of precious metals.

More than 20 law enforcement agencies and civilian businesses have joined forces to share their information on what’s been stolen and who’s responsible. Richmond County is the hub of the task force because of its six scrapyards; by default, almost all the stolen goods eventually trickle through here. [continue reading…]

In San Diego investigators got a call from a local recycler who got suspicious after five  people brought in a bunch of caps to recycle.

Fire Hydrant Theft Ring Busted

Escondido police officers arrested five people for stealing brass caps  off hundreds of fire hydrants around the city. On Friday, police got a call from a North County recycler that a group of people were trying to sell more than 80 hydrant caps. [Source:  Thieves Tamper with Hydrants | NBC San Diego]

The San Ramon Express News reports:

 Thousands worth of copper stolen from PG&E facility

Approximately $2,000 worth of copper wire was stolen from the PG&E Testing Facility on Crow Canyon Road last week, according to police reports. [continue reading…]

Other unusual items being stolen for recycling include:

All this was found doing a quick search for the terms, “theft recycle.” I can only imagine just how huge this problem has become. I guess what this all means is business and homeowners will need to make a bee-line to the recycling center, if they hope to retrieve their stolen items before they are crushed beyond recognition.

On the other side of the coin, many others are using these tough times to their own advantage by going dumpster diving, an activity we used partake of when I was a child. Did you know that people throw away tons of perfectly usable items, simply because they are unwanted? Over the years I have liberated many supposedly unwanted items doomed to end up in the garbage heap.

Of course, it wasn’t as acceptable of a practice back in the early 70’s as it is today. We were always afraid one of our friends would see us and make fun, but that didn’t stop us from going out again the following weekend. Apparently, some communities have laws against dumpster diving.

Dumpster diving yields hidden treasures

Yoder’s best finds include roller skates, records, clothing and furniture. However, according to the City of Lawrence, Yoder obtained these “treasures” illegally.

A city code prohibits unauthorized individuals from going through or removing other people’s trash. Since January 2010, city officials prosecuted six people for unlawfully removing trash.

“Some people feel very strongly against others going through their trash because they consider it an invasion of privacy,” Lawrence communications manager Megan Gilliland said. “It is their understanding that the city will dispose of their trash without others going through it.” [continue reading…]

You should check with your local officials before dumpster diving, unless you want to risk being arrested.

Communities talk a good story about being “GREEN” but how many really are? The state of California is discouraging people from shopping online (a green thing to do), so back in the car they go, shopping for bargains. Children here are rounded up for truancy, why not encourage them to school online?

Our landfills are getting full but hey, let’s pass laws preventing people from saving items destined for the landfill. What kind of sense does it all make? Are we going to be good stewards or not? We really need to stop and think about what kind of world we are leaving to our children and begin making better use of our resources.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway. Any thoughts on the topic?

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Worst Winter in 20-years

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on May 13, 2011

I haven’t written in a few weeks because we’ve been busy getting the yard ready for summer; cleaning up the slash, blowing the driveway, putting up the canopy and all that goes with it. It looks as though we may have jumped the gun.

We were so tired of the snow and rain that the past couple weeks have been just wonderful (for the most part). Well, there was that day last week when it rained, hailed, snowed, then rained again. We are expecting a storm to roll in Sunday night, with several inches of snow falling, down to 2500 feet level — that’s amost to Sonora.

All I can do it shake my head in total amazement every time I think about it. Old-timers all say this is the worst winter they’ve seen in 20-years. I may have even heard someone say in 40, but I won’t swear to it.

Anyone planning to take a rafting trip should be cautious in selecting the trip to match their skill level, due to the vast amounts of snow, which fell over the winter months. The rapids will be huge this year, once the snow starts melting — flowing fast and furious. An inexperienced rafter could easily find themselves in trouble.

The folks at Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions can help steer you to the right rafting trip to ensure plenty of thrills, without a trip that ends in tragedy. Their guides are top-notch.

I’ve also been a more than a little frustrated. My husband and I tend to be very frugal people. We like to keep a wish list, then shop around (often for as long as a year or more) to find just the right item at just the right price.

When Orchard Supply Hardward (OSH) had a 50% sale on their solar lights — selling for just $1.00 each — we bought 10 of them. I needed the lights for the edge of the driveway, so that I don’t accidentally drive over the edge. I am simply terrified of wrecking our car by driving off of it (it’s a Twain Harte driveway, folks, anyone here knows the potential danger of that). I positioned one light on either side of the driveway and one at the end in front of this huge rock that would do a number on the bumper if I ran into it.

Wouldn’t you know it? Someone stole all 3 of them. Heck, if they were that desperate for the lights, all they had to do was ask. I would have given them a light or two. I guess I can just stay home at night — I never really need to leave the house after dark.

I wanted to plant some flowers there and do some other work near the road but why should I even bother, just so someone can come along and help themselves to what doesn’t belong to them?

Just the week before someone had removed the dark green plastic hood for something that belongs to the telephone company. (Maybe it’s a junction box or a routing station, I’m not really sure.)  Two mornings in a row I picked it up out of my yard where it had been thrown. After the second time, I called the telephone company. Now, I’m worried someone is messing with the telephone lines in our neighborhood. We have enough trouble with power outages and cell phone outages, the last thing we need is problems with our home phone.

So, it’s been a frustrating couple of weeks. I’m worried we are going to get a bad snowstorm and it’s going to ruin our canopy. It took several hours to put together and I just don’t have the heart to take it apart again – only to put it back together when the weather decides to cooperate. All I can do at this point is pray for clear weather.

Have you been outside this week? I’ve been noticing lots and lots of furry catapillars climbing around on the deck rails. They could be looking for a nice place to shed their woolie coats and begin their transformation. I’m terribly excited. I’ve been watching for changes daily.

That’s all for now. Stay warm and dry!

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