A reader from the Washington, D.C., area who happened to be in Rochester sent this note to the Answer Man last week:
My name is Alex Kriss and I am from the commonwealth of Virginia. I have come to Rochester for a short period of time to clean out one of my relatives' houses. Over the years she has accumulated a lot of office supplies. This includes packs of 3 hole lined notebook paper, boxes of legal pads, many types of notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, paperclips, the list goes on and on. These supplies are all unopened and in the original boxes. In Virginia I have read in the paper and heard on the news that our school teachers have to buy supplies for their students out of their own pocket because of the cuts made to the school system so I called a Middle School near by to offer these materials free of charge. I didn't want to throw them into the landfill. The school said that they could not accept these materials due to policy. My question is this. Why? and who came up with this policy?
Any information you can provide would be most appreciated and I thank you for your time.
Before the Answer Man could even make any calls, Alex followed up with this:
Thank you for getting back to me. I wrote to the school super Mr. Munoz and he said the middle school I contacted was mistaken and I could donate. Thanks for all you do. I enjoy reading your articles. I sure wish the Washington Post in D.C. had someone of your skills working for them.
That made the Answer Man blush, but here's the point: Alex said he was interested in the coverage regarding Rochester's local-option sales tax, which he found sort of amusing, because it's small potatoes compared with the bigger fiscal issues the country faces. Here's his note:
I went to the Tea Party event monday. A little different than back home. The major topic here was the sales tax. To me that's like worrying about what's for dinner while on the Titanic.
For the record, here's what was for dinner on the Titanic on that fateful April night in 1912.