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Citizens Against Litter

April 2007 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: Kiya Tomlin and sons: our newest volunteers; Want it or not, "Weekly Shopper" is at your door; Litter mess uncovered; "I couldn't believe my eyes"; Spahr Street sweet on cleanup; 5-neighborhood cleanup coalition; Volunteers welcome for April 28 & 29; Duquesne students crack more than books; Dormont cleanup; Schenley Heights organizing; Recognition from a county councilman; A note from Jim Roddey; East Liberty & Highland Park hot to trot; Lincoln/Lemington checks in; Carrick calling; Citizens Against Litter volunteers; Ask Mr. Litterman

Kiya Tomlin and sons: our newest volunteers

The Pittsburgh Steelers got their man as head coach. Citizens Against Litter, Shadyside got Kiya Tomlin, the coach's wife, and their two sons, 5 and 6, as volunteers.

Here's what Mrs. Tomlin said in becoming a volunteer. "Thank you for the invitation to become part of the community. I cannot speak for Mike as I do not know his schedule or prior engagements but the boys and I would be more than happy to enlist as volunteers in your cleanup efforts. What a great opportunity to teach young children the many ways they can serve their community."

Like all volunteers, Mrs.Tomlin will select a zone in which to pick up litter when she arrives here permanently.

Want it or not, "Weekly Shopper" is at your door

[You've read it in this Newslitter previously. Much of the litter on our streets is caused by businesses not individuals. The following item was provided by Alina Keebler of Regent Square. It appears in the Regent Square newsletter. If the situation bothers you where you live, take action. Some community officials are taking action. The matter has been brought to the attention of the editor of the Post-Gazette.]

The RSCA has received several complaints from Regent Square residents about the "Weekly Shopper" flyer packets that are distributed to area homes. These residents are concerned that the flyers end up as litter, soggy and dirty, on sidewalks, alleys and gutters instead of on porches as intended. After some investigation and many phone calls, the RSCA has found out that the Pittsburgh Post Gazette contracts Keystone Alternative Delivery Services (KADS) to deliver the flyers to its newspaper subscribers. In turn, KADS hires independent subcontractors to deliver them to your door.

If you receive them and are not a subscriber, or would like to have your address taken off the delivery list, or have a complaint about this service, you can call KADS at 412-881-3001 or send a letter to KADS, 4777 Streets Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236. You can also contact the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Advertising Department at 412-263-1385. With everyone's help, Regent Square can stay a nice, clean place to live and work.

Litter mess uncovered

Have you noticed what March brought us? As snow and ice disappeared from the third coldest February on record, our streets and sidewalks revealed more litter in Shadyside than I've seen in a long time. It's obvious concerned citizens weren't able to redd up. But we really need a concentrated effort as the new month begins to get our neighborhood re-cleaned. Cleanups began last month. Please, let's not go backwards. Redd up. Redd up. Redd up. April is a renewment month with Earth Day, the Great PA Cleanup and with other neighborhood cleanups. Thank you.

"I couldn't believe my eyes"

Here's a shocker, at least to me. The Bloomfield of yesteryear of clean streets and even cleaner alleys is no more. It wasn't too long ago that CLEAN was synonymous with Bloomfield. Forget it. What happened? Did all the clean, proud homeowners die? Move? Give up? Bloomfield is a mess. It's not only the Liberty Avenue Main Street and side streets. It's the streets around the hospital, around the parking lots, the streets running off Penn Avenue. Litter in Bloomfield is everywhere.

Please, Bloomfield wake up. Many of the neighborhoods around you are organizing anti-litter groups, scheduling weekend cleanups, and doing their best to renew Pittsburgh. Your litter, Bloomfield, is what we call Everyday Litter. It doesn't take much to get rid of it. It doesn't take City Public Works crews and heavy equipment. It takes average citizens with neighborhood pride organizing and cleaning up...not waiting for someone else to do it for them.

If a group of you contact me, boris.weinstein@verizon.net, I will help. I will pick up litter with you. I will be more than a cheerleader and blowhard.

Spahr Street sweet on cleanup

"Just wanted to let you know I signed up our street, Spahr, with the PA Cleanup on April 21. I'm pretty excited about it, and the neighbors seem to be too. I sent an email to the project coordinator on its cleanup web site and she wrote back with a great idea: 'Ask local businesses for donations, like baked goods that didn't sell the day before. You know how food brings folks out.'

So I'll get going on this, and I'll keep you posted. Many thanks for being such an inspiration! You rock!"

Carol, a Citizens Against Litter volunteer

5-neighborhood cleanup coalition

"We've been planning this cleanup for months," said Bicky Goldszer of the Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol. "We could see as many as 1,000 adults and children participate in the three-day weekend."

Squirrel Hill and Homewood expanded their successful coalition of last fall to include North Point Breeze, South Point Breeze and Park Place for the April 27-29 event. Ten to 15 schools, including Westinghouse and Allderdice High, will take part on Friday; Homewood, the Point Breezes and Park Place hit the streets at 9 a.m. Saturday; Squirrel Hillers clean up on Sunday at 9 a.m.

Volunteers come together Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for a picnic in Mellon Park. The Mayor and three City Council members, Doug Shields, Bill Peduto and Twanda Carlisle, are expected to participate.

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition said that many Forbes and Murray Avenue merchants would participate in the cleanup in the business district on Friday.

Volunteers welcome for April 28 & 29

We're still recruiting volunteers for the Coalition cleanup. Call UJF at 412-992-5214 or Operation Better Block at 412-731-1908 for information about volunteering. Registration sites for each neighborhood on the day of the cleanups are:

Homewood: Saturday: April 28. Two locations: North Homewood Avenue & Bennett Street (Rite Aide lot) and North Homewood Avenue & Monticello Street

South Point Breeze: Saturday, April 28. Mellon Park parking lot at Fifth Avenue & Beechwood Boulevard

North Point Breeze: Saturday, April 28 at Westinghouse Park

Park Place: Saturday. April 28 at Forbes & South Braddock Avenues

Squirrel Hill: Sunday, April 29 at Forbes & Murray Avenues

Connect Greenfield

Neighboring Greenfield has a cleanup scheduled on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will meet at Magee Field. A potluck will follow at 1 p.m. Target streets have been identified for the cleanup.

According to Pat Hassett, Connect Greenfield, in concert with the Greenfield Organization, has 27 volunteers and is hoping for more. Most impressive is a strategy document called, "Invitation to Adopt-a-Block" that has been developed. It's a terrific model other neighborhoods should consider adapting for their own needs. Connect Greenfield even has a SWAT team (Stop Whining About Trash).

The Connect Greenfield plan is available on line or by e-mail at info@connectgreenfield.org.

Duquesne students crack more than books

"I'm Amy Boots, a member of the Leadership Committee of Evergreen, Duquesne University's environmental organization. Currently we have two ongoing litter projects. We facilitate short Saturday cleanups in Uptown for small groups of students from other organizations, and we hold the Spring Cleanup in April, an event involving hundreds of students from many different organizations across campus and focusing on Uptown and the South Side.

Although we receive the Citizens Against Litter bulletins, I wanted to contact you to let you know about us, if in the future you would be interested in collaborating with us or exchanging experience.

I commend your group for its efforts to promote cross-community collaboration."

[The e-mail refers to the 5-neighborhood Redd Up Coalition of Homewood, Squirrel Hill, North Point Breeze, South Point Breeze and Park Place.]

Dormont cleanup

Citizens Against Litter in Dormont has scheduled a neighborhood cleanup for Saturday, April 14. Volunteers will meet at Fredo's Deli on Potomac Avenue at 11 a.m. Boris Weinstein will return as a speaker, then grab his Nifty Nabber and join picker uppers. Volunteers have bought into the drill: "If we want to control the amount of litter on our streets, sidewalks, gutters and grassy places we have to commit some time and pick up."

Schenley Heights organizing

As many as 20 residents of Schenley Heights in the Centre Ave/Herron Hill section of the city attended an organization meeting Thursday, March 29 at Grace Presbyterian Church. Myrna Sumpter, a resident, and Carmen Pace of Councilwoman Tonya Payne's office arranged the meeting.

Recognition from a county councilman

"Thank you. A clean city is a vibrant city. The neighborhoods must continue the efforts. Congrats to all."

William Robinson, Allegheny County Council

A note from Jim Roddey

Former County Executive Jim Roddey sent an encouraging note to Citizens Against Litter recently.

Did you know that Jim's long list of community service began as an advocate against litter? One of Roddey's first efforts in Pittsburgh when he came here from Atlanta was heading up Mayor Caliguiri's Clean Pittsburgh Commission. Boris Weinstein's agency at the time, Marc Advertising, produced a TV public service commercial. It stared a "pig" with the message, "Let's Clean House."

We've all learned a lot about the war on litter since those days. It takes more than snappy commercials and sound bits to clean streets. It takes average citizens in grass root neighborhood initiatives bending and picking up.

East Liberty & Highland Park hot to trot

Mikhail Pappas and his volunteer network of teens are anxious to join with other neighborhood groups and focus attention on East Liberty and Highland Park. Mikhail's group is serious about redding up. A neighborhood cleanup Saturday, February 24 was postponed because of snow and cold weather. March's cleanup was rescheduled for Saturday the 31st at Stanton and Negley Avenues. This group is the real deal. They leave the talk to others. They are action-oriented.

Lincoln/Lemington checks in

Donald Hetzler, a resident of Lincoln Avenue, has contacted Citizens Against Litter and wants help to organize a neighborhood redd up group in the Lincoln/Lemington neighborhood. We expect to hear from Mr. Hetzler again and when we do he says he'll have names of at least six to ten neighbors ready to get something going. We told Mr. Hetzler that we'd visit him with Public Works managers to review the neighborhood's extensive blight problems and discuss how his band of volunteers can get started cleaning up everyday litter.

How 'bout your neighborhood? Are you catching the Redd Up fever? Or are you satisfied cheering us along and just telling us, "We're doing a good job?"

Carrick calling

Nicholas Fitz of Carrick writes: "Are there efforts to start a group in the Carrick section of Pittsburgh? I have been cleaning litter on a few blocks around my house and would like to be involved in a more organized campaign. If you could give me any information it would be greatly appreciated."

Here is what I wrote back to Nicholas. Your situation applies to frustrated people all over the city.

"Nicholas, I will be back in touch with you. In the meantime, please get the names of passionate people like you -- 6 to 10 of them. Get their names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses and when we next talk let's make specific plans to meet. I'll relate to you what we did in Shadyside. Picking up litter is not rocket science but it only works with people willing to commit their time and pick up litter on a regular basis in their neighborhood."

Citizens Against Litter volunteers

Stand up and be counted. We need more volunteers in Shadyside. And everywhere. Contact us and we'll assign you an area. It'll be like rolling out of bed into the street. E-mail or call Boris at boris.weinstein@verizon.net or 412-688-9120 or e-mail info@citizensagainstlitter.org.

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: Who litters?
A: There are two kinds of litterers. They both are part of the problem. ACTIVE litterers are the ones who throw things out of vehicles or drop things on the streets knowingly or unconsciously. PASSIVE litterers are the ones who exit their homes each day, see litter on their property and leave it for some magical litter fairy to pick up.

Q: Who doesn't litter?
A: There are two kinds of anti-litterers. ACTIVE anti-litterers are people like the Citizens Against Litter volunteers and hundreds of others who are not the joining-type. These people pick up litter because they believe "People who care must pick up for people who litter." I wish PASSIVE anti-litterers would get a life. These are the people who know better, talk a good game against the evils of litter but rarely, if at all, pick it up.

Recent Litter-ature

A complete list of past Litterature is available in our archives.


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