Yesterday's blog on Lexington water garnered thousands of readers and promoted some interesting discussions. First, if you purchased a home in the Lexington area where sewer lines are available, you do have to pay for the line whether you use it or not. This has always been the law. We don't usually advise anyone to sue over anything, but in this case your real estate agent was at fault if this wasn't disclosed. Look over your paperwork again, and if this is the case, you need to report the realtor.
Second, non-communication? We've heard countless complaints over the years about the water department and clerk not listening to citizens. If you've complained to the clerk, then the manager, yes by all means contact Sandra. Our friend Sandra Killen-Burroughs is busy, very busy, but she will help you.
There's a new mayor in town, and we strongly advise the water department personnel to start doing their jobs. Just because a previous administration hired relatives and turned a blind eye to malfeasance, doesn't mean this one will.
The city of Florence is getting deeper into geocaching, and our blogger L. Stone has some words for those who want to administer or participate in it:
If done right geocaching can be a good tourism draw. The key is for local governments and boards to work with the geocaching community and not barge in to run everything. If there are enough caches in a location it will become a draw, in some case even luring international visitors.
Probably the best known example is the E.T. Highway power trail in Nevada. (A power trail is a long run of easy to find caches on a route that are spaced very closely - the minimum is 1/10 mile separation.) That power trail has over 1,000 caches. It drew so many visitors that a motel in a remote town that used to close in the winter started staying open all year. Early on someone in their highway department got upset at vehicles stopping on the side of the road and tried to have the trail shut down. There was so much political pressure brought by local businesses that the highway department soon changed their mind.
It's good that Florence is promoting this. Towns that are more struggling, like Tuscumbia and Sheffield, should encourage this. The beauty of this is that if they recruit the leading cachers in their town to do something it won't cost the city anything. All the government has to do is issue some blanket permissions for where they will allow caches. (Nothing can kill caches in an area quite like a government that wants a written application for caches and requires renewals. Cachers will just go somewhere else friendly.)
They also need to let law enforcement know what's going on so they don't think something is up when they see people examining road signs, light poles, bushes, etc. If there are enough caches to make people spend the day in the place each cacher will have to eat meals, buy snacks and drinks and probably get some gas. Out of towners will need a hotel room. Some cachers will combine that with a family vacation so the family spends some time in the area and part of the time is spent on caches and the rest is normal vacation activity. EVERY tourist attraction needs a cache on or near the property, placed by an experienced cacher.
Areas where they want people to walk need to be saturated. Trails need to have as many caches as the rules allow. (The Richard Martin Trail north of Athens has dozens.) One thing that happens in communities that embrace this is that businesses start wanting caches near their business because they see how it draws people and makes them get out of their car, and a percentage become customers. The saddest businesses are the ones who are late to the party and when they realize what it will do there are already caches within 1/10 of a mile of them. I have found 117 between Colbert and Lauderdale, with a little more than half in Lauderdale.
|Grant Campbell's Pants with Bloody Prints at Pocket|
Missing evidence in criminal trials? You've probably recently read about the Florence Police Department employee who was stealing from the evidence room. While most of her swag was drug evidence, it can also be important physical evidence.
Not all lost items are due to theft. A few years ago a wall socket in the Christie Bray Scott trial went missing. While it had no impact on the verdict, what if it had been a more important piece of evidence?
We understand some clothing with blood evidence has been lost in the Chris Martin case. At least photos remain. We will be discussing this more in upcoming days and weeks, but perhaps the major point is how do you lose items of clothing in a murder case? They're too large to simply drop accidentally into a waste basket. Did some personnel want this clothing for personal use?
See remarks on Lexington Water Department. We need to start demanding accountability from public employees.