SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



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.

Karen Ramsey
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."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Litterbugs By Jenny Smiley - Ketchikan, AK - USA


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


Write a Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska