Bank Robbers & Leaf Blowers

On Thursday, 12/22 I was heartened to meet a young man walking his dog AND picking up litter. We exchanged greetings and thanks, our trash bags raised in mutual salute.

Still happy about the nice young man and the fact that no “work” was going on. Rounding the loop end at Greenwood School, a whistle pierced the quiet. I ignored it (Helpful Hint for Men: Women aren’t as much like dogs as you think). The whistlew became a  yell, – from a police officer. He suggested my daughter and I might want to leave the park, as two men had robbed a bank with a gun, and were thought to have gone into Van Horn. The officer said, it was okay to continue if we “felt safe.” He declared he would stay outside on the street edge, I don’t want a gun stuck in my face, he said.

On Saturday, 12/24, a large paper sack lay across from the playground. It was torn open and a white plastic bag protruded, blood and feathers visible within. To spare a man and little boy who were feeding the ducks (and others to come) the ugly sight, I hefted it to the nearest trash barrel. — Last year and before that I have found such evidence, I suspect relates to cock fighting.

Sunday, 12/25 were nice and quiet, if breezy and chilly, however orange fluorescent arrows had been spray painted on the ground pointing away from the asphalt, ominously toward what flora and fauna yet survive.

The pond surfaces began icing and cleared, and started icing again this past week (beginning 12/26) under mostly cloudy skies.

On Friday, 12/30: Machinery noise, toxic fumes, a music-playing van and three teams of men, armed with gas-fueled blower and a rake. The city awarded a contract to ‘keep the walkway clear of debris,’ which means until there is snow, walking and wildlife watching can be spoiled by noise and toxic fumes while leaves are blown in a wooded park. I chatted with a pair of extremely polite young men with the group. I was happy to know they had jobs, but unhappy my tax dollars were funding a needless task and destructive practices.

When will the city act to remove the tires, household appliances, old garbage and plastic floating in the pond? I’ll bet 99% of Van Horn Park visitors are more offended by these things than they are by dead leaves.


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