OUR CORNER: Just try wrapping fish in your iPad

As the field of cyclist came shooting down the mountains during the Tour de France in July, they were snatching newspapers from the crowds lining the road and stuffing them inside their shirt to block the cold breeze.

Fabulous!

Can’t do that with an online publication. I didn’t see anyone on the sidelines handing riders iPads or smartphones.

As The Seattle Times salesman lamented on my front porch about falling newspaper subscriptions, and the industry e-mails continue to arrive with gloom and doom for print publications, I can’t help but think our leaders need to take a different perspective.

Video didn’t kill the radio star; in fact, MTV, celebrating its 30th anniversary, hardly shows videos anymore, but most of us tune into the radio for our daily dose of music, news or sports.

Internet publications could replace newspapers, but there are so many things you can do with a newspaper that you can’t, or don’t, want to do with your computer screen after reading an online story.

In this day of recycle and reuse, newspapers are multitaskers.

I discovered one of my favorite uses for newspapers in Australia, where an order of fish and chips came neatly wrapped in the daily news.

Tear apart an older home and there’s probably newspaper crammed in the walls as insulation.

When a pesky fly buzzes by your ear, the first thing you reach for is a newspaper, right?

Garden columnist Marianne Binetti recommends using used Courier-Heralds as weed block in flower beds. Newspapers, folded tightly, also make excellent seed-starting pots. I use newspaper to speed the ripening process for my tomatoes.

Homeowners can use newspapers to clean windows and mop up spills. Campers use newspapers to fire up the charcoal grill or campfire. Try that with your laptop.

Newspapers make clean up for pet owners easy, when used as liners for bird cages and litter boxes. They also work well protecting floors from puppy piddle.

Newspapers make good drop cloths. Quite frankly, newspapers are good protectors for a number of chores, along with making clean-up easy for kids’ crafts like finger painting.

Speaking of crafts, newspapers are fabulous for paper maché or for sewing dress patterns.

Our daily newspapers came in handy for the many moves we made in our early marriage. Newspaper makes excellent packing material.

Fashion mavens can use newspapers to help hats and handbags keep their shape during storage.

Jennifer in our front office could make a very fashionable printers’ hat from The Courier-Herald in its former broadsheet form. If that’s not your style, there’s also the traditional sailor’s cap.

Entertain the kids by crafting a colorful kite from the comics. The comics also make wonderful gift wrap.

Summer, in most parts of the country, brings hot temperatures. A newspaper is a quick and easy fan.

Here in the rainy Northwest, the morning paper you finished reading with that cup of coffee can serve as an umbrella as you dash to the car.

Pointing out the obvious, newspapers make great scrapbook fillers and keepsakes.

In addition to these many uses, newspapers also provide information about your community and its surrounding area in an inexpensive, easy to carry format that can be read at anytime, anywhere – even when the power is out.