Demand Surrender from Bosnian SerbsThe writer is the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 10, 1995

Demand Surrender from Bosnian Serbs

The writer is the librarian at Magnolia Elementary School.

The 'Water Uphill Gang'

When I moved into my present home on Rogers Street in 1976, there were obvious problems with erosion on the back of the lot. I accepted this as a project to save my lawn and to reduce soil runoff. I covered steep places with rocks and planted things with long roots to hold the soil firm. In the early '80s, I had a setback when a water main broke in the alley and a town work crew dug up all the plants and top soil in an effort to force water to run uphill. Aside from burying my sump pump outlet under two feet of clay, this accomplished little.

I started over again, planting spearmint, Chinese lanterns, pussy willows, forsythia and various grasses after filling the holes with purchased top soil. I allowed a few briars to grow for a couple of years for lack of anything better to hold back erosion. Eventually, zTC I discovered that ivy would not only hold the soil well on the steep bank, but would slow the debris being washed from higher streets and keep the storm drains open during rains. As our streets get cleaned infrequently, even rain can bring enough leaves, twigs and trash to block storm drains.

So, finally I got to the place where all I needed to do was provide a little maintenance and guidance and the storm drains stayed open, my lawn stayed in place and I had some nice sights and smells in the alley to go with the neighborhood garbage which lines it on Sundays.

What happens? The old "make that water run uphill gang" struck again. When challenged, they said they were ordered to trim all growth in the alleys. Some trim! All that remained of my soil retention plants was loose, dry dirt. Just waiting for a little rain to wash it on its way to the ocean. Why? The crew couldn't even explain why they trimmed some places and passed others up. Me, I'm out the money I paid for the plants and top soil. And I'm also out the sense of community I have always felt for my selected place of residence.

Town politicians beware! You've lost some votes forever. If you represent me, you would not condone such destruction of our

environment.

Buddy W. Maxwell

Aberdeen

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