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Fix-it clinics

Maybe a good idea for our corner of the world

Could dovetail with this year’s fair theme

A former Plumas County resident read an article in her new local weekly newspaper and sent it to us. She liked the concept described and thought the idea could work very well in our corner of the world.

It was titled “On the Mend: Give your busted possessions new life — and add wisdom to your own — at a Fix-It Clinic.” The article appeared in City Weekly, a publication that serves Salt Lake City and its surrounding areas.

According to the article, the free clinics organized by the Utah Recycling Alliance “encourage people to do more than just drop off their busted bicycle chains and pick them up once they’re mended. Instead, the fixers — called ‘coaches’ — take apart damaged goods on the spot and teach the owners how to put them back together, imparting skills they can later employ should the items break again.”

Some of the items that have been repaired include small kitchen appliances, sewing machines, bicycles, wobbly-legged chairs, clothing, phones and laptops.

In addition to learning new skills, the idea is to keep items from ending up in a landfill. Sarah Bateman, vice president of the alliance, said repurposing items through the clinics “protects natural resources, saves people money and safeguards the environment,” helping residents lead healthier lives.

“These are pioneer skills we’re talking about,” she said. “It’s a very Utah thing to fix our things and put new life back in them.”

That sounds a lot like the people we know here in Plumas County who model the pioneer spirit and who recycle and repurpose rather than simply throwing something away.

The 2019 Plumas-Sierra County Fair theme is “Show What You Grow, Share What You Know” and we thing it dovetails nicely with the concept of Fix-It Clinics.

In announcing the theme, Fair Manager John Steffanic said he wants the fair to be an opportunity for people to share their knowledge and not in a passive way. “We would really like to tap the extensive knowledge and experience of our community, and offer that to anyone who may be interested.”

He had invited anyone with expertise in “floriculture, sewing, cooking, painting travel or even home improvement” to contact him at the fair office. “Everyone has a bit of a teacher in them,” he said. “This is their chance to play that role.

Maybe that role could include teaching people to fix things and in the process kick off a Fix-It Clinic program for Plumas County. We thank the former resident who found this idea and forwarded it to us. Maybe we will be writing an article about local Fix-It Clinics in the near future.

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