In response to the letter regarding people dumping their furniture and other items on the street: There is a Web site called freecycle.org, where anyone can sign up for free and either offer items you want to get rid of or request items that you need.
Everything is free, no buying or selling is allowed. I have found this Web site invaluable. People will come with their trucks to pick up unwanted furniture, old rugs and we even gave away a hot tub. It would have cost us $500 to have it hauled away. We communicate by e-mail, put the items in the driveway and the next morning or even the same day they were gone.