SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


More Smoke
By Charlotte L. Glover


February 15, 2007
Thursday PM

Dear Sitnews,

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 noticed.

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
Ketchikan, AK

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!"



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


Send A Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor at

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska