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The Slice

Re: Passing along your old magazines

Here's an email I received Friday from reader Rob Harper, who lives in a rural county.

“I read with interest Gordon Hensley's comments in this morning's Slice and they compelled me to write to you.

“Several years ago I donated a box of old 'Outdoor Life' magazines to the library of the school where I teach. I thought the kids might enjoy the animal pictures and maybe even read the articles.

“A few months later I had a visit from a county sheriff's deputy. It seems that some of my old magazines ended up in an illegal dump site along a local highway. When the county cleaned it up they found my name and address on a couple of old magazines. The deputy even had a couple of pictures to show me and asked if I recognized any of the stuff in the photos. I answered truthfully that I didn't recognize any of the stuff and could not explain how my magazines ended up there. The deputy said that since there were at least three pieces of this debris with my name on them that I would be responsible for the clean-up cost.

“I shared this predicament in the faculty room the next day. One of my co-workers asked what sort of junk was in the photos so I told him what I remembered seeing. He jumped up and said, 'I think I know what happened.' He had recently hired several high school students to haul a bunch of junk to the dump for him; paying them in advance for their time, efforts, and dumping fees. But the students didn't go all the way to the dump. They dumped it in that illegal dump site and kept the money. A call to the sheriff's office by my co-worker cleared everything up and the students were cited for illegal dumping.

“Two months later I got a bill from the county for the clean-up costs anyways! It seems the deputy didn't follow through with the paperwork. After I called the county to complain I got a visit from the deputy where he personally apologized to me for the whole mess.

“So now when I donate old magaziness anywhere, I remove or block out my name and address.”  


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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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