Readers write |

Readers write

OK, so it’s the first, true unequivocal weekend of spring. The birds are singing, the daffodils are blooming, the air is clear, crisp and fragrant with the scent of all things green and growing.

Until, that is, a pall of acrid smoke from someone’s burn pile wafts over the neighborhood.

We want to go on record as being completely baffled by the continuing practice of burn piles. We don’t understand why anyone would want to spend a beautiful day tending a burn (and we’re frankly concerned that those of you who do burn piles aren’t tending them properly), we don’t understand how anyone could not realize that burn piles constitute pollution (especially since there are probably plenty of you who are burning things you shouldn’t be, such as plastics, stained or painted wood, etc.), that they foul everyone’s air, and that they completely ruin an otherwise glorious day.

There are other ways to dispose of garden debris in this community. Yes, some of these involve paying a fee; frankly, we’ve never found such fees prohibitive, especially when compared to generating a noxious cloud of smoke. However, if you can’t pay the fee to take your debris to the dump (or simply resent the notion of paying it), or if you can’t afford the gas to take your pines needles to a recycling center, we have a suggestion: ask around your neighborhood. You might find that others have debris they need to dispose of, that someone has a trailer, and that you could all get together to minimize the expense or perceived inconvenience.

Or you might even find that your neighbors are more that willing to contribute a few bucks just to avoid having to breath your first-hand smoke.

Phil and Lore’ McLaren


The generosity of live organ donors like Michelle Nieves is remarkable (“Truckee man turns to wife for kidney and life” Sierra Sun April 28). But we wouldn’t need many live organ donors if Americans weren’t burying or cremating 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is a better solution to the organ shortage ” if you don’t agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 60 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven’t agreed to donate their own organs when they die. People who aren’t willing to share the gift of life shouldn’t be eligible for transplants as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. LifeSharers has 4,265 members, including 627 members in California. Over 400 of our members are minor children enrolled by their parents.

David J. Undis

Executive Director


Nashville, Tenn.

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