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Lately I’ve noticed drivers parking, with their engine running, in order to run and do errands. Often, these aren’t 30-second dashes into a store or the post office. It’s obvious why this is taking place. The vehicle windows are closed tight, so this is all about keeping the air-conditioning running. On Nantucket, air-conditioning is needed a couple of times (at most) each summer, so do we really need it to run unceasingly?
Last weekend I was shopping for corn at Bartlett’s Farm. As I entered the store, there was a woman with a couple of kids by the deli counter. The younger child, who I’d guess was 3 or 4 years old, was throwing a tantrum. Mom conveniently ignored the yelling. After a couple of minutes she comforted him for an instant. It was to no avail, so she kept going as if it never happened. I hurried up and moved along the aisles, to avoid the continual shrieking.
In the 15 minutes spent in Bartlett’s, the noise never abated. A number of shoppers commented on the situation. All I could think about was what my parents used to do. As soon as a hissy fit commenced, one of my parents would immediately scoop up the offender and carry us out of the place. It didn’t take more than a few times before me and my sister learned not to scream when in public. Parents that allow the bad behavior are the problem, not the children. We’ve also seen this in eating establishments, which is even worse. By the way, the corn was worth it.
Round-up is a non selective herbicide that’s for sale at stores all over the island. People use it to rid their walks and driveways of weeds that creep through bricks and cracks. Before Round-up became commonly used, most folks removed noxious growth by digging out and pulling them up by the roots. Remember the term “non-selective herbicide.” It’s the key to why I wrote this.
When Round-up is used, it soaks through the surface and continues to kill whatever plant growth it encounters. Not only that, rain and snow help spread the stuff far and wide. This often leads to leftover herbicide washing down street surfaces and through sewers, where it eventually ends up in our harbors, marshes and fresh-water ponds.
We now have this non-selective herbicide killing off aquatic growth, something our eel grass cannot stand. In the past week, I watched an employee spraying Round-up along the back of downtown restaurant. Mentioning what I’d seen to a friend, she said her gardener had suggested using Round-up to rid her gravel driveway of grass growing through it. She said no, because she has young children and didn’t know enough about the chemicals in it.
The next day, while driving up Main Street, I watched a man spraying Round-up along the edge of the brick sidewalk bordering his yard. Both the restaurant employee and Main Street gentleman sprayed in areas that almost certainly will eventually wash into harbor water. Round-up isn’t illegal to use, but it is bad for our environment.
There are two easy ways to rid your yard of weeds. First, pour boiling water on the weeds (be careful not to spill it on yourself). Within a few days they should pull out more easily. The other choice is the old-fashioned way. Get on your knees and used a sharp tool to yank out the unwanted growth.
Too bad the idiot(s) who tried to steal the whale tail didn’t make off with it. Within a few days, the smell would have given them away and they could have been apprehended.
In another fish story, the Pearl had one of its magnificent aquariums self-destruct in the middle of the night. I was surprised to see they were able to save the fish. Unfortunately, The Boarding House suffered badly, as the almost 500 gallons of water soaked through the ceiling and flooded the ground floor. The restaurant reopened Saturday, and Angela and Seth are sure to get through this and rise above the major setback.
Nantucket seems to have any number of bike and running races and triathlons taking place here each summer. Closing down entire streets is unacceptable and there has to be a better way. These races need to be run on the shoulder, or in the off-season. It would be better for everyone involved.
– David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror.