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Report on the Adopt-A-Highway Litter Roundup on Highway 280 - a Tale of AYSO Paperwork and Baseball

AYSO paperwork and Baseball Cards made a mess of two off-ramps! Mark your calendar: Saturday, October 14, 2017 is the next Adopt-A-Highway Litter Pickup on Highway 280. JUST THE FACTS: Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017. Location: Highway 280 NB between Meridian Avenue and Saratoga Avenue Time: About 3 hours – 9:15 AM -12:15 PM. Participants: 7 volunteers. I was joined by veteran volunteers Pam, John, Charley, Crista, Chris, and Katherine. What we collected: 24 total bags, two of which were recyclable aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Any cash? 36 cents. Katherine found a road-beaten quarter, dime and penny. Oddities along with the trash ( ▸ A squeegee ▸ A pair of flipflops ▸ Two license plates ▸ An unopened 5-ounce can of V-8 ▸ A pair of plastic junior badminton rackets ▸ An adorable but very dirty stuffed toy dog ▸ A cancelled check for $3.50 made out in 1983 ▸ About a dozen packages of yellow Easter grass ▸ A pair of khaki uniform pants size 33 x 30 – they cleaned up beautifully ▸ Thousands of baseball cards spread out all over the Saratoga off-ramp ▸ Hundreds of 3-page registration forms dated in April/May 2017 for an AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) participants from Southern California ▸ A Kinder Egg with a 3-part Barbie inside (torso, legs, and stand), instructions, and a slip of paper with a warning about potential swallowing hazard – in 35 languages John (injured three months ago when he slipped on a log) couldn’t stay away any longer. His elbow is fine and he can grip objects about the size of a bottle, but not if it’s heavy because his thumb isn’t very strong yet. Nevertheless, he truly did his share. His team of three volunteers filled a total of 14 bags. John insisted on returning to the spot where he fell. He got great satisfaction out of removing all the logs and debris on the shoulder, tossing everything well above the roadway where nobody would be bothered by it again. If you use the San Jose City College off-ramp from Highway 280 SB, you know it was trashed a couple of weeks ago. It’s clean again and there are four bags waiting at the mouth of the off-ramp, along with a hideous pink plastic chair. The paperwork turned out to be approximately a banker’s box full of registration paperwork from May 2017 for over a hundred participants in an AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) event – in Southern California (Pasadena, Altadena, Los Angeles, La Canada) -- spread out over 50 yards of off-ramp! The mystery, of course, is how on earth that paperwork made its way hundreds of miles north to Highway 280, only to be dumped on the side of the road. If you use the Saratoga off-ramp from Highway 280 NB, you may be wondering what had created the mess there. It was baseball cards -- thousands of them. They are gone too, along with 7 full AAH bags. REMINDER: THE NEXT TRASH PICKUP WILL BE SATURDAY, October 14, 2017. Dates in the future: November 18, and December 9. Feel free to pass these reports along to friends and invite them to join the clean-up brigade next month! We are always looking for new volunteers. Loui

Want to get involved? Email me at if you'd like to join a work crew.


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