Do Not Deliver?


The Federal Communications Commissions National Do-Not-Call Registry is a pain for companies that rely on telecommunication for sales, but an even bigger pain for residents whose names and numbers dont grace the list. It is these residents that deal with dinnertime rings and robot voices in their voicemail.

What if the same kind of blacklist were available for the free newspapers that are delivered to the doors of Alexandria?

In response to residents complaints about litter and unwanted recycling burdens, Councilmen Rob Krupicka, Paul Smedberg, Tim Lovain and Justin Wilson are heading a drive to create such a list one that could fine industry violators on a per-offense basis. The Council would have to enact an ordinance, though, which it tried and failed to do in 2006.

I dont like this ordinance, I really dont, Wilson said. I feel like its our only option right now. If we can sit down with everybody and come up with a voluntary way that works better than this, hey, thats great.

The idea, forged by the four councilman, is to broach the subject by suggesting the ordinance formally in January, hear the publics response and send a serious message to the newspaper industry in hopes that a voluntary solution is possible.

The two newspapers that would be affected if the ordinance were enacted are the Washington Examiner and the Alexandria Gazette Packet, both of which are hand-delivered around the city. The Alexandria Times is delivered by mail, which is a federal issue.

I dont see [mail delivery] as an issue, Wilson said. The issue is the litter; the issue is the inability to respect peoples wishes when theyve made them abundantly clear.

The discussion is docketed for the legislative meeting on January 13.