Bargains and bad deals come knocking

Springtime means spring cleaning to many in Morro Bay. Buyers, you’ll find terrific, gently-used bargain items next weekend.

On the other hand, Central Coast scam artists are multiplying like dandelions. They’ll knock on your door to deliver a well-rehearsed appeal to soften your heart and empty your wallet.

First, the good news! On Saturday and Sunday, Morro Bay has about 120 bargain sites for the Annual Morro Bay Beautiful City-wide Yard Sale. Most are homeowners recycling their unwanted treasurers.

Some are organizations such as the Morro Bay High School track and field team, with donations from friends to sell to new friends. St. Peter’s Church on Shasta Street will also offer soup and sandwiches. At Harbor Street and Morro Bay Boulevard, sales will help launch fireworks in 2010. On Sunday, Tognazzini’s Dockside will host an oyster and pitcher package to benefit local Fourth of July festivities.

“Look for Linda the Pirate. She has prizes,” said Ann Reisner, Morro Bay Beautiful president. “It’s a win-win all around. Buyers find fun stuff to buy. In this economy, people can make some extra cash, and Morro Bay gets cleaner and more beautiful.”

The yard sale is always scheduled the week before the city cleanup, when excess refuse beyond the size, weight and quantity of regular weekly trash will be hauled away. Organizer Ray Ladd reminds buyers to pick up maps at Brenda Sue’s on Morro Bay Boulevard as early as 7 a.m.

Now, some bad news! Morro Bay police Chief John DeRohan says it happens every spring: Out-of-state youths — lately from North Carolina — are dropped into neighborhoods to canvass door-to-door. They have the most convincing story of why you need to buy their magazines. And if you don’t want another magazine, they’ll send it to soldiers or hospitalized children. Won’t you feel grand helping them win a trip to Europe with their soccer team? Or win a scholarship to college?

Buy just a couple more magazines, and they’ll win for sure. Yes, they’ll accept your cash, however, what they really want is to come inside and use your table to write the order. They might ask for a glass of water and grab what they can while you’re out of sight. But their real grand prize is your check, so they’ll have your bank numbers.

Crime Prevention Officer Hank Roth says to ask for a permit or identification, learn to say no unless you know the solicitors and call 911 before they harass another neighbor.

And when you hear your grandson needs $2,000-plus to get out of jail in Canada, call his parents, then donate your money toward oysters and beer for summer fireworks.

Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or jsalamacha@yahoo.com.