a few “scenes seen” on a hot Tuesday afternoon

It was super hot a few days ago; a perfect opportunity to walk around downtown and see the scenes.

salem churchThis church’s sign sends an inviting, welcoming inclusive message.

ss-2It’s just a little bit of yellow curb; no one will mind if I park here.

ss-weedsColumbia’s a designated “Tree City” that could just as easily be awarded “Weed City” status.

ss-linesThough there are some encouraging signs, Columbia’s not an extremely “pedestrian-friendly” borough. Lots of pedestrian cross-walks are poorly marked or faded. The crosswalk (above, lower right) heads dead into a curb. Not an easy path for someone with mobility challenges. The markings (above, lower left) at the cross-walks at Front and Bridge Streets are bolder, brighter and better.


ss-4Thank you. Borough crews were tidying up the Veterans Plaza gateway landscape last recently on a really hot day.

ss-buildings 2Downtown buildings.

ss-vehiclesVehicles sitting there doing what?


  1. True enough, Mr. B. – it’s just that the Borough has numerous instances of verbiage in ordinances about weeds: “Any premises or structure which … has an uncontrolled growth of weeds … ”

    The citing is International Property Maintenance Code 302.4 Weeds.
    All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of [Section 302.4. Insert: Allowable height of grass shall be 6” (inches) in developed Residential, Commercial and Industrial zoned districts. Allowable height of grass shall be 12” (inches) in undeveloped Residential, Commercial and Industrial zoned districts.] All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flower and gardens.

    We found this definition for Weeds:

    “Weeds shall be defined as those plants designated as Class A, B, and C Noxious weeds by the state noxious weed control board, including but not limited to all grasses, dandelions, morning glory, uncontrolled berry bushes, and other weeds, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.”

    This dictionary definition of a weed states that a weed is “a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.”

    OR “any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted:”

    Wikipedia, of course, has a lot more on Weeds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weed

    Then, of course, there’s this weed: https://www.marijuana.com

  2. It’s not the weeds that are the problem; it’s the erratic and selective enforcement of the ordinance that makes them so obnoxious.

    I agree, just because a specific plant has no known uses for humans, it doesn’t mean some other creature doesn’t use and depend on it. There no noxious weeds, only obnoxious governments.

  3. Thanks for the definitions. As for ‘no known uses for humans,’ dandelions are also a crop that is consumed by many humans. If you doubt that, go to a local Giant and find dandelions in the organic food section of the produce department.

    Of course, don’t eat the dandelions on most grass lawns, because it is likely the entire lawn has been sprayed repeatedly with noxious herbicides.

  4. Another example is the common mullen, verbascum thapsus. It is considered a noxious weed by some states. It has multiple uses related to human health but like many herbal remedies there is no scientific research to authenticate those claims. However, the stalk is harvested and used by watchmakers; they know it as pith wood. I have often thought about challenging it’s classification in those states just to be (because I am) an a..hole. Too lazy I guess. On the other hand, what’s worse than a lazy a..hole.

    • Thanks for the information, Al. If you are not too lazy and have a garden, you may have seen Purslane. Purslane used to be a regular crop in the US and Brazil and maybe other countries, but as I write this the spell checker doesn’t recognize it. I think I have spelled it correctly, but it’s likely what ever dictionary the spell checker has, Purslane isn’t there. If you see it, pick some and eat it raw. It goes well in salads.

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