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Scree - September 21, 2010

map reading in Pisgah National Forest

Amy is off to North Carolina for the week. The sixth graders plan to hike, backpack, rock climb, and raft. What a great way for teachers and students to learn more about each other. Amy was very excited about the trip. She has been packed and ready to go since Saturday!

From the Daily Camera - Boulder has replaced two parking spaces with bike racks. Some interesting information - the bike racks cost around $500 each and the yearly revenue (or lost revenue) from each parking meter was $1,850. The parking meter only generates $6 per day - minus the upkeep on the parking meter, the salaries of the maintenance personnel, the meter patrol, the money collector, and clerk. There is probably someone who supervises the department and another that manages it. Finally, there must be a commission to make all the tough decisions. I wonder if the parking meters really make any money?

What if we could have a slot machine parking meter? People would park just to play the slots! I bet the meter revenue would quadruple! Of course getting a parking spot might be tough and there might even be prime lucky spots which would be even tougher to get. Maybe, the city would let you play the parking meter slots even if you did not park! We are on to something now.

The kudzu vine is taking over the state of Mississippi. Originally imported from Japan the vine was widely used to prevent soil erosion. Now kudzu is the king of the forest. 546,000 acres are covered in kudzu. In a test a five acre plot was fenced for 38 goats to eat away at the yummy kudzu vines. Another plot of 40 acres were being sprayed. Both eradicated the kudzu; but they are deciding which is less costly. It takes 7.6 goats to eat one acre of kudzu. Doing the math, it would take 4,149,600 goats to eat all of the kudzu. I am sure the chemicals are cheaper, but if it is killing kudzu it probably is not good for the drinking water. Also of note: it is hard to pet a drum of Escort toxins!

(Commercial Appeal - Memphis)

Over the weekend another hiker/climber was killed on one of the fourteen thousand feet peaks in Colorado. That is at least the seventh fatality this summer. I know there are a lot of people who climb the mountains; but seven fatalities is alarming. Of course climbing would probably still be safer than drinking Mississppi's water if they use the toxins to kill the kudzu.