Neighbor to Neighbor: Laws are made to be obeyed, not ignored

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We have a lot of work to do. President Bush has joined our long-established plea for people to volunteer. We need everyone to share in efforts to correct the things that are wrong and to maintain or improve the things that are right. If you haven’t already noticed that there are areas in your community that could be fixed, you have somehow managed to train yourself to ignore a great deal.

There are sights, sounds and smells that are unpleasant. Have you not noticed the garbage cluttering some of the sidewalks, streets and sewer catch basins? Have you not heard parties that are too loud and too long; car radios that are blasting so hard that house windows rattle; voices raised to levels above those of drill sergeants, often using language that is unacceptable to those with any vestige of intellect; and tool noises breaking early morning or late night silence? Have you not found odors emanating from improperly disposed waste offensive; or been almost overpowered by fumes from idling vehicles or sewer catch basins?

If you have complained to the proper authorities about any or all of the above, we say, “Thank you!” If you have not done so because you were unaware that laws were being broken, or you didn’t know to whom complaints should be made, during working hours, a good source of help is your community board.

Community Board 12 may be reached at 658-3308; Community Board 13 may be reached at 464-9700. If they can’t take care of your complaint themselves, they at least can help by referring you to the proper place to register your complaint. If, on the other hand, you knew there were laws being broken, knew where to complain and decided to “let someone else worry about it,” you are not being a good neighbor.

Vehicle owners should be warned that car thieves are becoming more active again. Do not try to confront them yourself; that is a job for the police. Call 911 immediately and try to give the operator as much information as possible without letting the thieves see or hear you.

Car thieves most often are armed and can be dangerous. If you happen to come upon someone attempting to break into a car, even if it is your own car, walk by, go to the nearest phone and call the police. Remember, your life is not only of value to you, it is of value to others, as well.

As far as smelly garbage is concerned, now that we must dispose of glass and plastic containers in our regular garbage, you may want to use them to dispose of food waste, including bones, that might otherwise entice animals to pull your garbage apart. That also helps somewhat to compact the garbage and reduce the odor.

One of the easiest abuses of the law that should be overcome is littering. It boggles my mind when I see people drop litter on the sidewalk or in the street when there is a waste basket within easy reach.

I also can’t understand why people carry their home garbage to some public space and dump it there when the Sanitation Department makes very regular collections at the private homes everywhere in our communities. It is a totally ridiculous and risky way to get rid of trash. If that home garbage is not properly disposed of at the home where it belongs and if the person making the illegal disposal is seen and reported to the Sanitation Department, the dumper can be fined heavily.

If you wonder why anyone would care what you do with your garbage, I’ll tell you. If you put it in front of someone else’s home or store, that person may be fined, and no matter where it is dumped, the person who is willing to convict you of illegal dumping is eligible to receive a very generous portion of the fine collected from the dumper.

I wish people would think of all the prospective money they could save by just obeying our laws. I think it might be a good idea if sometime during the school day, even in prekindergarten, children were taught and tested about laws that even they should know and obey.

Maybe they could teach some of the stubborn adults. Everyone, please drive carefully and watch out for all our children.

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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