Some Neighbors Say Free Newspapers a Nuisance, Paper Provides So - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Some Neighbors Say Free Newspapers a Nuisance, Paper Provides Solutions

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CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Every Thursday night, the Cambridge Extra is delivered to homes throughout the city.  Except on Wednesday, papers were sitting outside since last week, some even longer.  Dave Thatcher sees it as a community eyesore.

"One of the concerns is what it looks like to people who are here to buy a home. They drive down Locust street for instance and see all the papers in the yards, as well as the trash in the street, but the papers in the yards," said Thatcher.

And it's not just the Extra, there is also another paper published by the Star Democrat, called the Dorchester Star, that also piles up on lawns according to Thatcher.  He also says phonebooks are an issue, but a separate one entirely.

The weather makes it worse.  A newspaper that starts it's life looking neat and clean, after a couple days of rain, wind, and cars driving over it, can wind up looking a little bit more like a mess on the side of the road.

Thatcher took matters into his own hands.

"I forget what got into me one day but I decided to get out my wheelbarrow and walk up and down Locust and pick up the papers, pick them all up," said Thatcher.  He has also attended city council meetings, asking them to block distribution of the papers.

Salisbury neighborhoods have much the same problem.  John Schofield says it's a nuisance getting a newspaper he didn't ask for.

"Usually I just pick them up and throw them in the trash," said Schofield.

However, it's not a problem without a solution, says Paul Clipper, editor of the Dorchester Banner.

"We want the papers to get into the hands of people who want them. We don't want them winding up in the street. So to that end we have an opt-out system in place. In the paper we have a small ad that says to opt-out of the Cambridge Extra, call this number," said Clipper.

The Daily Times in Salisbury said they have a similar system in place and both companies tell their distributors to pick up papers that aren't being used, but that's a practice neighbors say still needs improvement.

Thatcher says he isn't convinced opting out will work, "I don't think it's going to be an effective solution at all.  I think what they should do is maintain a list of people that do want the paper and just deliver it to those people."

To opt out of the Wicomico Weekly, the number is 410-845-4634

To opt out of the Cambridge Extra, the number is 410-228-6549

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