Mysterious substance on ground was pollen
Q: On Nov. 4 when I went outside I found a yellow powdery substance in the crevices of our street and driveway near Bogue and Sanborn roads in Yuba City. I found the same substance around my church near Hillcrest Plaza and in the parking lot at Mervyn's department store in Marysville. Did aerial spraying occur the night before?
A: Don't worry, Yuba-Sutter is not being subjected to some clandestine aerial spraying program. Or have we already been brainwashed by the yellow powdery stuff?
What you saw on the ground undoubtedly was pollen, probably from pine or walnut trees. It's more prevalent in the spring but is also seen in the fall, said Leslie Williams, a biology instructor at Yuba College.
The trees produce large amounts of pollen because they rely on the wind, not bees, to spread it. At times it gets so heavy it looks like yellow scum on the surface of ponds, said Williams.
So breathe easy - unless you're allergic.
Q: When I moved to California a few years ago, I was shocked to see motorcyclists riding between lanes of traffic. Is that legal?
A: California is one of the few states where so-called lane-splitting is legal for motorcyclists - and it makes no difference whether the vehicles on either side of the bike are moving or stopped, said Officer Jeff Larson, spokesman for the Yuba-Sutter California Highway Patrol.
Even CHP motorcycle officers do it, said Larson
Lane splitting has been legal as long as he can remember but is “definitely not safe,” Larson said.
Recently in Sacramento, a motorcyclist riding between lanes fell off and was run over by traffic coming from behind, he said.
It's illegal if a biker cuts in and out of traffic while lane-splitting, forcing drivers to take evasive action, said Larson.
Although a lane-splitter probably would come out on the short end of a collision with a car, the experience would be a difficult experience for the driver to live with, said Larson.
Since You Asked runs on Sundays. It is written by reporter Rob Young. Questions can be sent to him in care of the Appeal-Democrat, P.O. Box 431, Marysville, CA 95901; or faxed to (530) 741-0140. You also may e-mail him at email@example.com.