Tale of house’s disappearance is no yarn

Dear Johnnie: I always enjoyed looking at the adorable Victorian style house on the corner of Terry Street and Second Avenue, and even had whimsical ideas of buying it someday to house a yarn shop. When I saw it gone I was so sad! Was it intentionally razed or was there an accident? And it appeared as if it might have been burned. This inquiring mind wants to know! — Donna

Dear Donna: I had grown so used to seeing that house on the corner that I quit looking. Your letter alerted me to its disappearance.

Bricks, flagstone and the remnants of charred trees are all that remains of a house that once stood at the southeast corner of Terry Street and 2nd Avenue. Bedding is seen in the background. The house was known as a place where homeless people would stay. (Johnnie St. Vrain/Times-Call)

The closest business to the site is a welding shop, so I stopped by and asked them if they knew what happened to the house. The owner had thought about razing it, they said, but decided to allow the fire department to use it as a training house.

So, after adding drywall to create a more realistic interior, firefighters burned it over the Labor Day weekend.

I confirmed this with Assistant Fire Chief Scott Snyder. He didn’t know the particulars of the training done at that site but said that often firefighters will ignite pallets inside the rooms of a training house so that they can practice their skills with real flames going up around them.

He noted that currently firefighters are doing non-fire training in two old houses near the intersection of Coffman Street and Longs Peak Avenue.

Donna, I suggest that you open your yarn shop in a different location.


Dear Johnnie: I read the advice not to recycle clamshell plastic in the paper (Monday) morning. This advice directly contradicts advice we saw earlier this year from what I consider a reliable source (Johnnie St. Vrain, 2/2/11, who cited Marti Matsch from Eco-Cycle), namely that they can be recycled if they are bundled as a group and wrapped with a rubber band so as to be three-dimensional.

Is this earlier advice no longer valid? Or may we continue to bundle and band those plastics into 3-D objects?

We are active recyclers, but over the years it gets very frustrating when contradictory information is given out from (what should be) equally reliable sources, or even the same source.

If the bundling and banding method is allowable after all, Tee-Cee’s Tips should issue a correction. If not, then it looks like Eco-Cycle should get everyone on the same page. (And JSV should probably publish a revision.) Thanks. — Carolyn B-G

Dear Carolyn: Let me take you back to the column of April 22, 2011, when Johnnie stated that “the recycling industry is continually changing, and so are lists of accepted materials.”

This is one of those times.

“In an attempt to figure out how we could recover this material,” Marti Matsch wrote me, “we tried a pilot education approach asking folks to rubber-band the materials together in an effort to, as your reader rightly says, keep the material 3-D and prevent it from being flattened. We weren’t sure how it would work, so we never added it to our official guidelines. We apologize for the confusion, but we have learned through this pilot approach that the rubber-banding is not a solution for the large scale. So unfortunately we are calling this pilot a failure and looking at other ways, including equipment upgrades, where containers that flatten easily can be handled. Our apologies and our thanks to your readers for so carefully following the guidelines.”

So, Carolyn, because the recycling industry is always changing, we’ll continue to answer these questions.

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One Response to Tale of house’s disappearance is no yarn

  1. Lalaine says:

    Great article, thank you again for writing.

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