Here’s a good one.
An Akron resident says his mail was stopped because his dog got loose and chased a carrier. That he understands.
What he doesn’t understand is why the people who wouldn’t deliver his mail mailed him a letter explaining how he could restart his mail.
How things got to that point is the subject of debate, however.
Both sides agree on one thing: A German shepherd belonging to Melvin Cook, who lives on Lake Street, just east of Summit Lake, got loose one day and chased a carrier.
After that, the stories diverge.
Cook says he called the post office the next day, a Saturday, and was assured his mail would be restarted on Monday if he promised to restrain his dog. Only when he finally went to the post office four days later did he discover — in his stack of held mail — that he was required to sign a statement to that effect before delivery would restart.
In contrast, regional USPS spokesman David Van Allen says that when Cook called the day after the attack, he was told he would have to come to the post office and sign the paper.
When informed of the post office’s response, Cook insists the woman he talked to did not say he had to sign anything. “She didn’t say that or I would have gone [Monday], not half a week later.”
You can certainly understand the post office’s view of the big picture. Van Allen says the carrier had to jump a fence to avoid being attacked, breaking his glasses in the process.
Last year, carriers in the city of Akron suffered seven dog bites and two dog “incidents,” the latter defined as an injury not caused by a dog bite but by the mad dash to escape — broken arms, sprained ankles.
Letters are sent to the owners of carrier-chasing dogs that point out:
• Akron has a leash law.
• Dog owners may be held liable for personal injuries.
• Mail service may be temporarily or permanently discontinued if additional problems occur, forcing the customer to rent a post office box.
Van Allen says signed statements from dog owners are not always required, but that “this is not the first occurrence at this address.”
In addition, two of last year’s seven Akron dog bites involved carriers from the Firestone Station, the same branch that serves Cook’s neighborhood.
Cook says the previous incident involved another resident’s pit bull that had gotten into his yard.
Van Allen concedes it’s possible that the person Cook talked to on the phone initially didn’t realize this was the second episode at the same address, more easily triggering the demand for a signed statement.
“If there was any miscommunication or lack of clarity during that conversation,” he says, “all I can do is apologize on behalf of the office.”
Whether signatures are required after incidents is left up to the individual branches. Locations that deal regularly with dog issues are more likely to require one, Van Allen says.
Of course, if you keep your dog in line, the whole issue is moot.
The new courthouse under construction in Kent overlooks several fraternity houses on Main Street. That should cut down on travel time for a lot of disorderly conduct hearings.
The best columnist in the history of the world will be signing his book Blimp Pilot Terrorizes Akron from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Acme in Montrose.
Well, OK, maybe he would only qualify as the best columnist inside of the Montrose Acme at that particular time, but still ... please stop by and say hi.
Saturday is the grand reopening after a $3 million revamp of the store (which I have patronized for nearly 30 years). Another low-level celebrity will also be on hand — WONE (97.5-FM) jock T.K. O’Grady, who will be on the air at Acme from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The day also will include the Acme Prize Wheel, giveaways for kids and, from 1 to 3 p.m., free health screenings.
Bad name alert
An event for kids at the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton, which included projects, face-painting and performers, was billed as — and I quote — ArtsinStark SmArtSplash.
Yes, all jammed together with funky capitalization.
Only about 20 entries have been received in the Keep Akron Beautiful contest designed to come up with an anti-littering billboard slogan. That means the odds are pretty good that you could win $100 for just a few minutes at your keyboard.
As I told you a few weeks ago, KAB is localizing a national campaign that included things that, much like littering, are simply wrong, such as networking at a funeral. KAB is looking for wrongs that are specific to Akron — for instance, the group says, “calling a devil strip a tree lawn.”
You can enter until March 20. For contest rules, go to www.keepakron beautiful.org.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.