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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I give up!

Well, I went back to the city offices this morning. Seems it wasn't the enforcer, Polanco, who instigated our citation, but the head of Keep Alpine Beautiful, Patsy McWilliams. Polanco just signs the citations. I haven't been able to get ahold of her yet, but the office talked to her and she told them she only had a problem with our Johnson grass. There is definitely Johnson grass mixed in with the flowers. It's all over town by the acres. So why did she pick the one place that had beauty mixed in with the grass to cite? I spent hours today clipping what I could from between the Red Hot Poker plants along the fence. Seems I'm allergic to the Johnson grass. My arms broke out in rash and my nose started running. And in a few days it'll need doing all over again. Then Hugh mowed outside the fence where the Johnson grass was all mixed in with the wild flowers. So we're doing our share to keep Alpine beautiful. Here's the ugly before:

And the beautiful after:

Later, I drove down to the library. On the way I saw at least 20 patches of Johnson grass. Here are just a few of them. 

Alley on 11th St right off Del Rio. (We're off 13th St. Compare this photo to the one of our alley I posted yesterday.)

Johnson grass along 11th St.

Johnson grass behind library

And so I don't bore you, here's the last one I'll post. It was taken right down the street from us off 13th St. and Del Rio. Another long strip of Johnson grass in the street. You get the idea.

I hate Alpine!

UPDATE: After I posted this Patsy McWilliams returned my earlier call and came by to discuss this. She said everything is fine; she was just bothered by the grass (not Johnson) under the pecan trees. My husband always keeps that mowed but apparently she inspected it the day before he mowed it and it was over 12" tall??? It was mowed when I saw it, so I don't remember. But we have no problem with that. She seems fine with the habitat, but we do need to get some kind of exemption from mowing it just to be on the safe side. I was upset when she pointed to the yard across the street from our habitat and said that was the kind of stuff that wasn't acceptable (weeds and no flowers in it). So I asked if she had issued them a citation and she said she hadn't but was going to. It was hard for me to be nice after that. She just flat singled us out for no reason. I'm going to work hard to get us some kind of exemption. Should have done it sooner but the city always seemed fine with our habitat before (and apparently still is).

LATER: It just now registered on me that the citation said, "high weeds," and when she came out she said her only issue was with grass over 12" tall.  She's obviously backpedalling, likely due to pressure. I've gone public, and the city manager is getting lots of letters complaining.

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