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News arrow Opinion arrow Columns arrow AT THE HELM: CHANGES MADE AT THE PILOT AS FUEL PRICES RISE

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AT THE HELM: CHANGES MADE AT THE PILOT AS FUEL PRICES RISE

With gas prices continuing to rise, don't be surprised to see Curry Coastal Pilot reporters soon getting around town on bicycles, skateboards and pogo sticks.

And the Pilot's Action News helicopter is now grounded until fuel prices drop.

These are only the first of several measures the Pilot will be taking to conserve fuel and our budget as we race toward the $4 a gallon mark.

Here are some other fuel-saving ideas:

•Government entities such as city councils, port commissions and county commissioners meet in the Pilot's garage.

•Emergency vehicles and police cars stop by the Pilot and pick up a reporter on their way an accident or incident. Or at least slow down enough for a reporter to grab the bumper and hitch a ride on a skateboard.

•We stop home delivery of the Pilot. Instead, we hire town criers to stand on various street corners and shout out the day's headlines. Tips are encouraged.

•We leave copies of the newspaper at public restrooms. (It's better than most things you find written or drawn on the bathroom wall.)

The Pilot isn't alone in devising creative ways around the high gas prices.

For example, a man hijacked an armored car in downtown Brookings the other day, but he didn't get far – the vehicle ran out of gas.

There's a new gambling trend in town. People are putting a dollar's worth of gas in in their empty car tanks and then betting on who can drive the farthest before running out of gas. The other day, Joe went home with $50 after he drove his hybrid from one end of Brookings to the other. He had a good tailwind.

The city's new slogan is "Brookings – our gas is cheaper than California's!"

State park officials are reporting that all campgrounds and RV parks are full. The owners of those fancy $200,000 motor homes can't afford to drive home.

Fred Meyer has switched to selling goats instead of gas lawnmowers.

Real estate sales in Brookings are going up as people start selling their homes and moving into their SUVs.

A check of Internet Web sites about high gas prices reveals how other people are handling it:

Gas station owners with a sense of humor are listing their prices as:

Regular: Arm

Plus: Leg

Supreme: First born

Motorists are faking car trouble because getting towed to their destination is cheaper than buying gas.

Banks are offering low interest rates on gas loans.

Driving to Canada or Mexico to get cheap prescription drugs isn't cheap.

A team of horses comes standard with all new SUVs.

The spare tire on the back of new SUVs has been replaced with a compact hybrid car.

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be making fun of the high gas prices. But I can't help it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go out and buy some raingear for the reporters.

Where my skateboard?

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