- If unity is what we want, we’re a long way from finding it (9/26/17)
- Let us help, in case you (R) confused (9/5/17)
- Apology not accepted (6/6/17)
- The truth is somewhere in the middle (5/23/17)
- Who guards the guardians? (4/12/17)
- Time for a bad idea to go up in smoke (1/25/17)
- An overdue goodbye to 2016 election politics (11/9/16)
A nickel's worth of advice
Paul Hicks is just trying to run a small business, but instead of encouraging a vital enterprise, some of us are making it difficult for him.
And that's a shame, because the operation he owns helps fund the Chamber's annual fireworks display over West Lake Okoboji.
He also employs people who might have a hard time finding work someplace else because of challenges in their day-to-day lives.
Try it. Try hunching over to pull out sticky, smelly cans with Lord-knows-what inside. Spend a day getting the Pepsi cans to the Pepsi distributor and Coca-Cola cans to the Coca-Cola distributor. Deal with the smell of beer residue in the hot sun. Hope there isn't broken glass.
All told there are 1,000 different types of bottles and hundreds of canned products to sort through. The staff at Lakes Area Fireworks Fund sorting center in Milford will get the right cans and bottles into 27 different bins with accuracy and efficiency. They don't mind the work and they need no one's sympathy.
But, Mr. Hicks shouldn't have to drive to Spirit Lake and drop a letter off to a newspaper editor that tells people to use common sense or find a shred of decency.
So, Lakes residents and guests, on behalf of Mr. Hicks, let's remember what we already know.
We already know that water bottles, junk glass and steel cans aren't redeemable. Do recycle, but the fireworks trailers at Spirit Lake Fareway, Milford Sunshine Foods and the sorting center at 911 Okoboji Avenue in Milford AREN'T the place for your recycling.
Use the trailers for redeemable (the Iowa 5˘) cans and bottles only.
Folks have even dropped off newspapers, cardboard and magazines. Come on, people. We know better. By the way, there are signs -- posted and apparently ignored -- at each trailer.
Again, use the trailers for redeemable cans only. Also use care when leaving glass bottles at the locations. Broken bottles are useless and dangerous to the sorters.
"You are costing us money, time and Milford blue bags (for recyclable items)" Mr. Hicks said in his letter. "Pay for your garbage. You're taking money away from the fireworks."
He was mad when he wrote the letter and he was in a lather when he dropped it off -- I can't blame him.
"Don't be a stupid, selfish and lazy human," he wrote. "Do the right thing."
Then he adds a postscript.
"Thanks to all the decent and honest people."