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Dandelions; Profitable Junk; Putting Things Off & More...
RidgeRunner

 
April 13, 2015 -

A small number of us here in the Alleghany Highlands were out this past weekend armed with their lawnmowers. That unmistakeable sound of those two cycle engines is part of Spring for sure. I, like many of you, wasn't completely ready to get my first lawn cutting job done. Oh, yes, I expected to fire up the ole John Deere and have it run perfectly. But that wasn't the case. For some odd reason, despite the fact that I usually filter the gasoline I place in my lawnmower, the mower's fuel filter looked like I had dumped dirt in it. I have no idea why or how this happened, but you know the drill. First, I replaced the spark plug, next the air filter, then I cleaned the carburetor, and my nice machine continued to cough. It was only then that I realized I may have bad or old gasoline. I made all these changes and it still didn't run right...until I looked down at that pesky little $2.00 fuel filter. A 30 second change and poof, I felt just like an engine fixing pro.

I hope you didn't waste so much of your time as I did in getting up and running! I also hope the full scale of your language wasn't as colorful as mine was - this can be a huge amount of frustration - especially when at least one, if not two, sets of eyes are upon you to get the job finished.

Getting your lawnmower to run is basically a defensive move: for when you get the evil eye from your loved one due to quickly growing or pervasive dandelions or other weeds and your yard reminds you why Scott's products do so well (because yours is a total mess, full of weeds, moss, and other unfortunate plants).

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You have no good reason NOT to recycle all the worthless metal you have lying around your property either. Ditto for batteries and the like. The two major recycling operations are both friendly and efficient. I've got a ton of this kind of stuff lying around and have three old batteries that need to be turned in. Do yourself a favor: put these items in your truck and get them recycled and you'll be happier and get some cash at the same time. You'll also enjoy a brief bit of 'hero' status when you clean up something you've probably being promising to clean up for say, six months or so?

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So, on Wednesday, April 15 at 11:30 a.m. the Historic Masonic Theatre will kickoff its big $6 million plus renovation program. And historic is shall be. Major league modifications and renovations will proceed over the course of the next year and a half or so, transforming this old structure into a prime entertainment venue - perhaps the finest of its kind in more than a 50 mile radius. That means more bands, more plays, more entertainment of almost every kind, courtesy of some very smart and well-meaning people who've formed its board and hundreds of others who have contributed their hard-earned dollars to recreate and expand this wonderful venue. Great work, great ideas, great people, if you ask me.

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Has worked stalled a bit at the new Alleghany Motors building near WalMart? I'm looking forward to seeing that structure finished and get up and running. When done, it should be one of the nicest auto sales places in the region. Keep big ticket sales like vehicle purchases local means more tax revenue for the region, more employment, and a host of other benefits. Good luck to that organization as its proceeds with its massive project.

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When it comes to area economic development, I think it's clear that the local Alleghany Foundation has tried to be of big assistance, as well as providing the funding for numerous other projects that have enhanced the local scene. But there no longer exists an Executive Director of the local economic development operation because the Foundation must not have thought that the previous director had the right amount of results...and thus, cut the funding that underwrote his salary and benefits.

I am not aware that a replacement is being sought. Perhaps it's more important to have some new ideas, not just spend money on payroll for a position that has had more than its set of challenges in recent years.

No doubt about it, however, the Alleghany Highlands could use another 3-4, 100 employee employers and all that is entailed with the investments that would have to be made on their part to get operations going. The area needs a boost.

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You are welcome to submit news tidbits for this column at any time. Just email me at RidgeRunner. Your thoughts and/or news is appreciated.

 
 
 

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