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Answer Line: No law on grass clippings, but there could be

Sept. 29, 2017 at 11:55 p.m.

QUESTION: After washing and waxing my car, I was traveling east on Loop 281 and taking the Alpine Road exit when someone cutting grass on a riding lawn mower at a commercial property close to the exit threw dirt and trash forcefully on the whole right side of my vehicle. It became covered with trash, and I was afraid it was possibly mixed with glass. Isn't there a law that those mowing close to traffic have a protective shield to protect traffic from cuttings? Is there any way that the city can address this?

ANSWER: There is no such ordinance, but you could pursue that suggestion by taking it up with your City Council representative.

I will say this, though: The city would love for people to stop doing what you're describing for a separate reason. City Spokesman Shawn Hara encouraged people to mow so the clippings blow back into their own yard. That helps keep leaves and grass clippings from making their way to the storm drains, where they can clog up the system and cause lots of problems.

Q: I've been an avid Lobo fan all my life. I love the game and all the other things that happen during and before it. The song you printed was great, but when they play it and anything else on the speakers, it is deafening. Even my son, who thinks loud is good, complains. The only word you can understand is Lobos. They turn up the sound because they know there will be so many people there. It's not necessary. Everybody complains. It would be nice to actually hear the song at a lower level. Help! Who do you call to get them to turn it down?

A: District spokesman Elizabeth Ross said the district hadn't received any complaints about the volume. If everybody in the stands is complaining, y'all should start telling someone.

Ross said one of the best ways to do that is through the "Let's Talk" option on the district's web site. Go to lisd.org and you'll see a yellow "Let's Talk" tab on the left side of the page. Ross said it allows you to communicate directly with the department you need. It gives you the option to select the area in which you have a question and submit your question.

It goes to the "Let's Talk" contact person in that department, and then the question is addressed by that person or sent to the person who can help you.

Ross said the district responds to Let's Talk submissions in 24 to 48 hours.

Q: There was a smell of sewer gas or sewage all over central Longview a couple of days this past week. I smelled it downtown and further north, up to Pegues Place at least. What in the world is making such a funk, and why would whatever it is be allowed by the city?

A: I couldn't find a specific cause for the odor you mentioned, but I have some speculation and a suggestion.

First, if you encounter this kind of sewer-like smell again you should notify the city's public works office. That's the suggestion from Public Works Director Rolin McPhee. He said the city didn't receive any complaints about this odor. If it had, the public works office would have investigated to try to find the source. Contact the public works office at (903) 237-1240 or use the city's online and mobile app City Send at longviewtexas.gov.

Separately, the city of Longview's sewer collection system does have several vents along Grace Creek, and in the past people have reported odors coming from those vents in the area of Marshall Avenue and Spur 63. The vents allow potentially explosive sewer gas to escape. Houses and other buildings have vents as well.

I checked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to see if there had been any accidental industrial releases that could account for the smell. I didn't find any, but in the future you can file environmental complaints at tceq.texas.gov/compliance/complaints. You can also find the database of reported emissions at at bit.ly/2fz5mAs

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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