By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Herschel Wilonsky, owner of S&W Auto Parts on Second Avenue near Fair Park, is familiar with the trash problems that plague the troubled neighborhood. Usually it's the two-legged kind: drug addicts and hookers who roam nearby or do business on a lot he owns behind his shop.
Last week, he was hit with the real stuff; someone dumped "literally tons of trash" on his lot following the State Fair of Texas, says Wilonsky, father of Dallas Observer staff writer Robert Wilonsky.
What's an honest businessman to do? Call the city and complain that you've been victimized by criminal litterers, you say? What city do you live in, pal?
In fairness to the State Fair (rim shot), Wilonsky says the trash didn't come from the fair itself but from cans placed nearby. A fair employee says it likely came from private parking lots used by fair-goers.
In any case, Wilonsky considered asking the city's sanitation department to come and collect it but reconsidered when someone told him that he likely would face a fine for violating city codes...for having all that trash on his property.
That sounds a little bit like being knocked unconscious by a mugger and waking up to find yourself ticketed for sleeping in public. Still, we believe Wilonsky. About two years ago, someone stripped a stolen car in Buzz's carport. We called the police, foolishly thinking that's what you do when you find a stolen car. A dispatcher told us the city wouldn't even dispatch a tow truck, let alone a cop, since the car was on private property. She helpfully suggested that we try to shove the car into the alley, which would have been tough, since it didn't have any wheels.
Still, we got off easier than Wilonsky. He's out $325 for cleanup. His next plan, he says, is to spread tons of cow poop near a cut in the fence used by hookers, druggies and trash dumpers to get onto his property. Maybe that'll keep them away, he says.
Buzz has a better idea. Wilonsky told us that he had Mayor Laura Miller at his store last week to show her some of the addicts and prostitutes who roam nearby. Oddly, when the mayor showed up, there were none to be seen. We suggested he get a life-size cardboard cutout of the mayor and post it near his shop. He liked the idea. "Like a scarecrow," he said.
Exactly. And, Mr. Wilonsky, if you happen to order two, have Robert bring one by the office. We could use one for our carport.