Amnesties and other special events

They say the newspapers are dying, but I still love the combination of daily news, print copy and photos, with the local slant, that you really don’t get other places.  I’m not a big fan of reading my news on line, and I like to read the local news during the week from the Sunday stack.  Sometimes I miss some timely news, like a gallery opening event, but overall it works for having interesting reading fodder at hand.

When I travel, I love having a few papers with me on the airplane, from my hometown, and from where I’m headed, or especially, have just been, especially if it’s a foreign site.  I wasn’t traveling, but picked up someone’s abandoned USA Today earlier this month at my local Panera Bread.

The article that caught my eye was one with the headline, “One day, 3,000 adoption from pet shelters, no fees.”  What a great idea!  So many shelters have a glut of animals waiting for adoption.  So January 24, 2009, was Change a Pet’s Life Day.  Pet food companies like Hill’s Science Diet and Pedigree donated to the cause.

This event not only accelerated getting the animals into new homes, but I’m sure also introduced some people to local shelters, and gave large-scale public awareness to the event as media picked up the call.

A once-a-year break from fees and penalties can really boost compliance.  Miami-Dade’s library system, like other municipalities’, has had amnesty days for patrons to return overdue or missing books without late fees.

During a February 2008 “Non-native (exotic) Pet Amnesty Day” at Miami’s Metro over 150 animals were turned over for proper care, without their owner’s facing a penalty.  South Florida has had problems with python owners releasing them into the Everglades.

Gun amnesty programs remove firearms from the streets.  And of course, our Florida tax holidays boost retail sales and give parents a welcome relief on the burden of back-to-school supplies and clothing.

I wonder what other amnesty programs could be dreamed up to boost economic activity and give the average consumer some welcome relief from the current day-to-day squeeze?

How ’bout an “amnesty day” for battery recycling…like they do in Downers Grove, Illinois?

Here’s another civic-improvement amnesty day… Free Tire Collection Events are held several times a year at the Seminole County Landfill, during which residents  can dispose of up to 10 tires, free.  This reduces unsightly and illegal dumping of tires and helps prevent mosquitoes.

Here’s an interesting idea for the corporate world.  Pegasus Communications has a …“semiannual ritual known as “Amnesty Day.” It’s a time for staff to clear several months’ accumulated detritus in order to move ahead with renewed vitality, energy, and lightness. Scheduled well in advance so everyone can clear their calendars, on Amnesty Day, anything that impedes work productivity is fair game.

Sounds good to me!

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Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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