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by Jerry A. Cegelske


April 21, 2004

It is my sincere hope that the citizens of Ketchikan such as Karen Ramsey do not feel that her or their hopes are naïve or useless. What has and is taking place with the littering is a symbol of the past which needs to be removed. The hope is in the future with education as Karen stated in her April 18th letter to Sitnews. The hope is also with each and every person that rejects the trash, trash dumping and littering and takes time from their busy schedule to do something about it, whether it be organizing a trash pick up, or going out after dinner and picking up trash on the road in front of your house. Things are improving and if we keep stressing the importance of not littering to the kids, things will improve faster. Unfortunately it is not just kids that litter. Check out the airport parking lots when the adults leave to catch the ferry. The trash goes out the car door. It is not children that leave the junk vehicles and burn pallets, shoot up tvs and leave the majority of trash. It is too bad that everytime someone litters, money can't be taken from their checkbook, wallet, or pocket to show them what it is costing them.

State money spent on cleaning up Mile 4.2 Revilla Road could better be spent on education or fixing South Tongass. Now litterers can spend their money fixing their car which wore out early due to the bad state of repair the Borough roads are in. What about lost job opportunities? I would have been ashamed to show tourists Lake Harriett Hunt with all the litter along the way. They would not have remembered the scenery but would have remembered all the trash dumped by the ignorant people that continue to dump there. The tourist business would not expand, recommendations would come back to the cruise ship for people not to take the tour and we, the citizens, would have lost jobs and tax revenue because we allowed people to continue in their ignorant ways. It is cleaned up somewhat by Alaska State employees that would much rather spend their time working on other problems.

There is a lot of McDonald's trash in the ditches on North Tongass. I asked the manager if there was anything they could do to help with the problem. She agreed and the result is the April ads you see in the paper telling people to put the trash in the proper place and that there is a $100.00 fine for littering. They are trying to educate their consumers and others about the litter. Many may not bother to read the ads but they should take the time to read the citation they were warned about earlier! Many people are starting to get involved and are tired of trash as usual.

This week we have a special section called CHEERS and JEERS!

CHEERS! To Nick Farstad and his crew with Alaska State Highway Maintenance shop for cleaning up Revilla Road of the burn piles and as much trash as they could with their equipment and without the many helping hands needed to do the job. Also they have been grading the road shoulders north of town and cleaning the bridge and road of dirt.

JEERS! To the jerks that dumped the pallets and trash there in the first place and then burned it making it harder to clean up. This includes all the shooters that use it for a shooting gallery with tvs and other household appliances as targets, leaving the mess of hundreds of pieces for someone else to clean up.

CHEERS! To all those that are taking advantage of Clean-up Week to get rid of the trash and junk around their homes, businesses, streets, and highways. We appreciate it.

JEERS! To some of those same people that don't take the time to cover their loads and allow their trash to fly out of their vehicle to litter the roadsides that others have taken the time to clean up. On Monday, I was told about South Tongass being cleaned up with the yellow ALPAR bags along the road Saturday. I was then told that an hour later, the trash was already accumulating in the ditches because people weren't covering their loads. What an INSULT to the people that spent their time cleaning up only to have some lazy inconsiderate slob litter and destroy their hard work! Why would someone be kind and considerate, a model citizen in many ways, but think nothing of insulting their neighbors in other ways?

CHEERS! To the citizens who are getting involved and are willing to report the littering of the dumpers and litterbugs. A woman reported seeing trash(pizza box) blown out of a vehicle on S.Tongass between Forest Park and town and attempted to get the license number to turn them in. It takes strength and courage to really get involved!

JEERS! To the litterbugs that are again so inconsiderate of their fellow citizens. Are they that brain dead as to think they can drive without their trash blowing out of their vehicle when it is uncovered? What will it take to wake them up- someone getting seriously hurt by trash blowing out of their vehicle? It can and does happen!

CHEERS! To those that speak out against littering to both child and adult and let them know that such actions will not be tolerated. Let's set a higher standard for ourselves and others than what has been settled for in the past. Let people know where you stand, that you will not tolerate it, and that you will take action to correct the problem. There is no reason to put up with such inconsiderate slobs. Everyone needs to be part of the solution, not the problem. Littering is not acceptable.


Jerry A. Cegelske
Code Enforcement Officer



Photo Gallery


Cleaned up area showing where trash and pallets were burned on Revilla Rd.


State equipment used in the Revilla cleanup.


Cleaned up area on Revilla Road courtesy of Alaska Highway Maintenance crew.


Freshly dumped radiator box on Revilla Road.




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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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