By Charlotte L. Glover
February 15, 2007
Like many, I was raised by a heavy smoker. If I never see another
dirty ashtray in my life, it won't be too soon- yuck! I've never
smoked in my life, exercise daily and take care of myself but
have in recent years been diagnosed with asthma and have struggled
with bronchitis. I can't help but wonder if my lungs were weakened
during my childhood.
As far as smoking around children goes these days...if you know
better, you should do better. We all know smoke is harmful, really
harmful. There are no excuses. Another person died of lung cancer
in our community this week. It happens so often that it is hardly
Apart from healthy lungs, my real issue with smoking comes down
to simple courtesy. I cannot understand why anyone would smoke
in a restaurant, any restaurant, where it would bother others.
I don't understand why people smoke on the sidewalk where those
of us who are trying to breath as we walk by have to hold our
breath and I really don't get why it is ok for smokers to litter
our community and everywhere else with their trash. I have a
bad tortilla chip and Luna Bar habit but I don't litter the streets
with empty bags whenever I indulge. Seriously. Take a walk downtown
or at the mall. Why do all of you who smoke feel it is ok to
toss your trash all over town? What's up with that?
I've been fortunate in my life to travel all over the world and
Ketchikan remains one of the dirtiest communities I've ever seen.
I continue to wonder why property owners and business owners
don't pick up trash, pressure wash sidwalks or clean with any
regularity. Is it lack of time? Lack of cleaning supplies? Lack
of interest? My grandfather taught me that part of home ownership
was working hard to keep an attractive and tidy exterior. His
home was immaculate. I think of him whenever I am sweeping and
raking and loading leaves into compost. My six year old son likes
to help and that feels good, too....teaching the next generation
how to take care. He has his own child sized garden tools and
plays "cleanup" along with pirate king alongside me.
While walking home last night from Diaz Cafe, my son suddenly
said "I don't like Ketchikan." I stopped and asked
him why. His reply "I don't like all the trash on the ground.
It looks dirty and ugly here with all the garbage." Strong
words coming from a little boy. Come on, Ketchikan, we can do
better for ourselves and for our children. As a community, we
are setting a terrible example.
Charlotte L. Glover
Received February 14, 2007 - Published February 15, 2007
About: "Ketchikan resident
and youth services librarian for sixteen years who advocates
for our children every chance she gets!"
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