Volume 16, Issue 23 - June 5 - June 11, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on line, click here

Join Jogging Joe as a Litter Picker-Upper

Dear Bay Weekly:

This is in response to the commentary “Beer Cans and Back Roads” by Mick Blackistone in the February 28 edition of Bay Weekly [Vol. xvi, No.9].

Over the 45 years that I have been running and jogging, I have made a modest study of roadside trash and litter, and as such would suggest that the trash problem has been around for eons and is not going to go away very soon no matter how hard we work at it. It’s not all man-made. Wind is a factor, so is paper that blows out of unsecured trash trucks, among other factors.

When McDonald’s first opened their hamburger place 55 years ago, they used to send crews out to pick up discarded wrappers in their neighborhoods. They may still do it in some locations, but by and large I believe they gave that up years ago. Their wrappers and containers now are imprinted with an environmental theme and a suggestion for proper disposal.

Mick Blackistone tells us that litter is a great affront to our environment, and it is, but we can mitigate it if we work at it.

Become, as I have, a volunteer litter picker-upper. Stick one of those plastic grocery bags in a pocket, carry a pair of gloves and pick up litter as you walk or run or jog, as I have done over the past several years. It’s mostly paper and small containers. Also, learn where trash receptacles are located, so you can dispose of the collection quickly. Try to put cans and bottles in a receptacle marked commingles. Also, pick up only along local streets and trails. Leave the heavy-duty highway pickups to the state crews and the Adopt-a-Highway volunteers. I don’t see them on my routes, but sometime you will see discarded needles and syringes. Just leave them be.

Oddly enough, I find picking up trash one of the leading indicators of our so-called lagging economy that has brought higher taxes, especially on cigarettes. I find I am picking up more empty off-brand cigarette packages. Polo seems to be one of the brands of choice these days.

With a little bending over, which affords some exercise, and filling one plastic bag and doing it just a couple times a month, you cannot imagine the satisfaction you get, just looking back over the couple of blocks that have been cleaned and imagining how things must have looked before man was placed on this earth.

–Joe Shafran a/k/a Jogging Joe, Annapolis

Editor’s note: Jogging Joe, a member of the Maryland State Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, says he has logged 55,000 miles in his jogging career, equating to more than twice around the globe. He writes the bi-weekly running column for The Capital and The Maryland Gazette.

Beechener’s Big Fan

Dear Bay Weekly:

Hi! Like, my name is Kate and I’m like one of Diana Beechener’s biggest fans … OMG I can’t believe I like just said that; I am such a nerd — like I look online all the time to like see if she has any features and I like can’t wait to read them! I like LOVE the way she writes the calendar, it’s like so inspiring, and [May 22’s] one about like mailman bite prevention, it’s like so important for our society to like be aware of what the mail goes through. I feel our culture, it like disregards the people who do everyday jobs, like my dad says about the guys he pays to like mow the lawn and clean the bathroom and stuff, like, they have feelings too, like ya know?

–Kate Kearns, Portland, Maine

15 Good Years

Dear Bay Weekly:

I’ve just reread your staff’s comments in your great 15th anniversary issue [Vol. xvi, No. 16: April 17]. Keep up the excellent work.

–Elzabeth Weir, Lake Bloomington, Ill.

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