The city gives property owners 10 days to erase graffiti from their premises, but what about all the graffiti that greets rafters under the 32nd Street bridge? Isn't the city responsible for erasing that? Also, every other year I get a notice about my hedge encroaching on a sidewalk no one ever walks on, but the city allows trees and branches to completely cover a safety sign at 32nd Street at East Fifth Avenue. Talk about double standards. What's next? The city getting to play with dogs off-leash?! - Mr. B, Durango
The city has many powers, but reading minds is not one of them.
If you see something awry, speak up and let the city know. But do it nicely, not like Action Line's recent hard-boiled inquiry on your behalf.
"Say, aren't you wise guys gonna do something about all this monkey business?" Action Line asked the city code-enforcement department accusingly with the gusto of a dime-novel private eye.
By way of explanation, Mrs. Action Line has been reading some cheesy pulp mysteries this summer and listening to old-time detective shows on XM satellite radio. And now back to our story. ...
Steve Barkley, code-enforcement officer, was unfazed. "Cool as a cucumber," as they say.
"We'll take care of those things if we know about them - and now we do," Barkley said, smiling like someone who knows too much.
The code-enforcement department serves up a knuckle sandwich to punks with spray paint and gives the business to thuggish shrubbery.
Barkley vowed to put the squeeze on the Public Works Department about the bridge graffiti, since bridges are its beat.
In the meantime, he would take a look-see at 32nd and Fifth to determine if those hoodlum branches are in the street department's or landowner's bailiwick.
And so ends the case of the Sullied Bridge and the Hidden Sign.
Become your neighborhood's gumshoe - if anyone is trying to pull a fast one, report the tomfoolery to code enforcement at 375-4930 or to nonemergency dispatch at 385-2900.
I've been passing the ball fields near the rec center all summer, and I haven't seen any kids playing on them. They seem like a museum to sports. Is the parks department worried about the fields getting worn? It seems a waste of valuable land. How about putting in something useful? When I was a kid, baseball was very informal and played all the time with pickup games. - Old and Can't Understand
Action Line has a great idea. Let's convert the ball fields back to a horse-racing track.
Talk about a museum to sports. If you want a facility even fewer people use than a baseball diamond, it's a horse-racing track.
Uh-oh. That ought to bring in some hate mail from the equestrian crowd.
But if horses are so popular, why does a demolition derby attract more people in one afternoon than the combined attendance of all horse-based events held in the last two decades?
Be that as it may, the city isn't the custodian of the fairground's baseball diamonds, said Cathy Metz, director of Durango's Parks and Recreation Department. The ball fields are a La Plata County-maintained facility.
The county schedules organized baseball games, practices and tournaments. Between those events, the fields are locked.
However, the fairgrounds staff stresses that the fields are indeed public and anyone is welcome to play baseball during open time slots.
If you want a pickup game, simply call the fairgrounds maintenance number at 769-3860, and a person will open the gates.
E-mail questions to email@example.com, or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you'd rather own a 1973 Buick Electra over a swayback mare.