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In regards to a proposed worm and metal detecting ordinance, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, as I am a former worm harvester.

Back about 1980, one of the guys I worked with told about how he got his kids up about 2 in the morning and would go down to Lakeview Park with a flashlight when they were flood irrigating and pick night crawlers. The water would force them out of their wormholes.

You had to be quick, as when the light shone on them they would disappear into the ground. The going price was about $2 a pound, and there was at least one local buyer.

So I would get my daughter up and we did the same thing. My wife would then put them in a cardboard box and pedal down on her bicycle and sell them. We needed the money.

Somebody discovered that someone was using electric prods in one of the cemeteries, so the city proposed an ordinance banning all worm harvesting by electric probe or picking in all city property, including parks.

I wrote a letter to then-Mayor Ernie Starr protesting and asked to be allowed to pick the natural way without the electric probes and not in the cemeteries. The ordinance was modified, and no trouble that I know of to this day when those anti-capitalists are going to outlaw the practice entirely — no public hearing, no permit, you are out.

I don’t know if anyone still does it or not, but it is the principle of the thing — and I have an interest in it.

  • Hubert Osborne, Nampa

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