Ketchikan's litter problem
By Karen Ramsey
April 29, 2006
Bless your heart, Jenny Smiley, you are new here in Ketchikan,
aren't you? I'm writing in regard to your letter posted on April
19, 2006, regarding the litter problem here.
There are others besides yourself who have written many letters
over the years bemoaning this problem, myself included. Jerry
Cegelske, the borough code enforcement officer, tries mightily
to bring awareness to this issue. Unfortunately, after living
here for a while, one comes to the realization that there is
a generally accepted culture of "not caring" about
the garbage on our sidewalks, streets, highways, and beaches.
One also soon realizes that there is a generally accepted local
culture of allowing dogs to run freely rather than restraining
them as the law requires. Responsibility is severely lacking
in regard to both problems, and responsible, caring residents
are in the minority when it comes to these issues.
These two issues adversely affect our lives. Nearly every day,
I see litter (usually various types of beverage containers) that's
recently been dropped out of a vehicle. You can tell because
it's still rolling around in the middle of the street before
making its way to the gutter or ditch. I cannot understand the
mindset of a person who just tosses garbage down on the ground,
wherever it may be. Also nearly everyday, my husband and I have
to chase dogs (who sometimes behave aggressively when being shooed
away) or cats out of our yard or garden.
I have tried to train my eyes to look upward while driving so
that the growing piles of garbage don't disgust me. In regard
to why we don't have jail inmates out there cleaning the roadsides,
I have two comments. One, try asking some city "leaders"
why inmate cleanup can't be done here, and they'll tell you something
about competition against private business, to which I say, "Huh?"
Second, if people would just quit being so careless about their
garbage we wouldn't need cleanup patrols.
Finally, I would like to thank those residents who do care about
how our environment looks and reflects on us, as well as those
responsible pet owners who keep tabs on their animals by keeping
them on their own property or by leashing and cleaning up after
them in public.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Karen Ramsey writes, "I am a 12-year resident of
Ketchikan who thinks this town is one of the worst anywhere insofar
as the two problems mentioned above are concerned."
By Jenny Smiley - Ketchikan, AK - USA
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