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Citizens Against Litter

October 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Seventeen scraps of litter; Shadyside house tour; Cure for the common sickness; You oughta Redd Up too; Lamar cares; Waste of their time and your taxes; 80 neighborhoods in Redd Up; Pitt to make a difference; New Beechview group; Renew Pittsburgh involved; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; We want volunteers; Mess by Mia

Our mission

To inspire people throughout the city and region to collect litter and connect neighborhoods.

Seventeen scraps of litter

It should come as no surprise to local residents and visitors to the Shadyside Art Festival several weeks ago that litter is a non-issue during and after the two-day event that attracts thousands. Who's counting? Mr. Litterman, that's who. I walked the three blocks of Walnut Street and picked up eight napkins, one straw, one plastic bottle, one soft drink container and one lid, one wrapper, and maybe five other scraps.

Shadyside House Tour

Sunday, October 12 is the date for the annual Shadyside House tour. It's another time "company's coming" to our neighborhood. Please do your share by picking up litter on and around your property.

Cure for the common sickness

UPMC Shadyside may have found a cure for its own common sickness -- cigarette litter. Staff is sweeping up more often the butts tossed on their own sidewalks by employees and visitors who can't smoke indoors anymore. Sidewalks appear less littered. The patient -- in this case, UPMC -- is off the critical list (known as Garbageville) for now. Time will tell if the patient gets a clean bill of health.

Cure for what ails Hays

Phil Jamison, president of the 31st Ward Community Action Group, is frustrated by a turf war between the city and PennDOT. Phil wants one of them or both to cooperate and clean up litter, graffiti and overgrown grass and weeds around Route 837 (Becks Run Road) and also the Glenwood Bridge.

So the offer by "Pitt Make A Difference Day" student volunteers to join him and locals and lend a helping hand on Saturday, October 18 to Redd Up Hays, Lincoln Place and New Homestead is well timed.

You oughta Redd Up too

It does my heart good to see businesses like Ray Winter Automotive on Dallas Avenue in Homewood and the Marriott Hotel in Shadyside sweeping the sidewalk, gutter and street with a push broom. Don't you wish every business would start its day doing the same? It's the law, you know! That's what you oughta do at your business or residence: a do-it-yourself Redd Up.

Lamar cares

"I would like to thank you (Bicky Goldszer) for calling in to report the cleanliness issues that we face at the two bus shelters placed at the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill. I'm also appreciative of the efforts that you and other members of the Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol have made in keeping these shelters well-maintained. The pride that you take in your community is something to admire and I certainly understand that you want to keep your neighborhood a clean and beautiful place.

"In order to confront the problem that you described, we are going to begin monitoring these two shelters daily. Each weekday morning a member of our maintenance crew will visit the shelters to remove all trash in and around the shelters, clean the glass, and hose off the concrete if necessary. I am confident that this new daily procedure will improve many of the cleanliness issues that we currently face at these two shelters.

"While we cannot control the disrespectful and unpleasant actions of others, we are going to put forth our best effort to ensure that you and other bus patrons can use and enjoy the shelters."

Sara Lupinski, Lamar Advertising

Waste of their time and your taxes

Seeing is believing and I saw it. Street cleaning by those sweeper machines -- at least on many streets in Shadyside -- seems like a waste of time and your tax money. The system in place all over the city is probably just as ineffective. What I can't believe is that Public Works and Public Safety don't correct the problem. The plan is flawed and has been for years.

The plan. Permanent street signs WARN motorists that sweeping gutters of leaves, litter and trash will take place on certain days and at certain times. In other words, MOVE YOUR VEHICLE so gutters can be cleaned. MOVE YOUR VEHICLE OR YOU'LL GET A TICKET. DON'T EVEN THINK OF PARKING HERE.

But nothing happens. Most vehicles aren't moved. Public Safety issues none or few tickets. Street sweepers can't get to gutters. Gutters aren't cleaned. Litter sits. I'm told parking police, with a purpose to write tickets, accompany the street sweepers.

I watched this street cleaning routine the first Tuesday after Labor Day. On Elmer. On Ellsworth. On Ivy. It hurt to watch. Gutters on Elmer and Ivy were not touched. They were unapproachable. Some of Ellsworth's gutters were cleaned because there are more DON'T PARK HERE signs. On my watch, I saw no parking police accompanying the sweeper let alone writing tickets.

Why not test a different plan in ONE neighborhood. For example. At 8:30 a.m. on street-cleaning days have parking police start issuing tickets to unmoved vehicles without sweepers trailing behind. Sweepers later may be able to get to more gutters because some vehicles may be moved. Repeat this ticketing pattern for three weeks and very possibly streets, targeted for cleaning, will eventually open up, PROVIDING FINES ARE ENFORCED IN A TIMELY FASHION and CITY EMPLOYEES IGNORE PRESSURES OF RESIDENT COMPLAINTS. Stay tuned.

80 neighborhoods in Redd Up

The list is growing. More than 80 city neighborhoods will be participating in the Fall Redd Up. Most neighborhoods will clean up litter on the October 10-12 weekend. Some will do it on Saturday, October 18. Others have Redd Ups scheduled a few weeks before.

Allegheny West, Allentown, Banksville, Bedford Dwelling, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bluff, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Brookline, Carrick, California-Kirkbride, Central North Side, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford Square, Downtown Pittsburgh, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Lincoln Place, Knoxville, Manchester, Morningside, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver, Mexican War Streets, New Homestead, Northview Heights, Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenery), Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Sheraden, Shadyside, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, St. Clair, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End, Westwood and Windgap.

Redd Ups will also be going on at the Jail Trail, on Route 28 and Banksville Rd.

Pitt to make a difference

Pitt student volunteers will make the city's fall Redd Up this month doubly terrific. Let me explain. Redd Up is October 10-12. Then Pitt came along and announced that it was launching a huge community service day -- called "Pitt Make A Difference Day" -- on Saturday, October 18 and was offering neighborhoods the services of Pitt volunteers to pick up litter. So Pittsburgh is a winner with a Redd Up doubleheader-on back-to-back weekends.

Citizens Against Litter jumped on this opportunity. More than 20 city neighborhoods also jumped at the chance to have 44 volunteers join their local ranks. Our thanks to Terry Milani, Director of Pitt Student Volunteer Outreach, and LaTrenda Leonard, event site coordinator, for making this possible. They made a lot of people very happy and will help make a lot of communities cleaner.

Neighborhoods and area communities partnering with Pitt are: Bloomfield, Larimer, Stanton Heights, East Liberty, Mount Oliver, Perry Hilltop, California-Kirkbride, Allentown, Mount Washington, Duquesne Heights, Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Hays, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, Shadyside, Carrick, Lawrenceville, Beechview, Mexican War Streets, Central North Side, Friendship, Garfield, Penn Hills, Dormont, Aspinwall, Homestead, and Wilkinsburg.

New Beechview group

Pretty Up Beechview (P.U.B.) is an all-volunteer, community-based organization that is dedicated to the creation and maintenance of a clean, healthy, safe and prosperous neighborhood and the promotion of those qualities therein through community action, partnership and awareness.

Adopt-A-Block:

If we all pitch in and do a little work it will be a lot easier to keep Beechview clean. That was the idea behind this initiative. So how does it work? It is simple. Just let us know the area you would like to keep clean, and after that, you can work at your own schedule to pick up trash. Visit our website and see how the map of Beechview is starting to fill up with volunteers.

Pick-Up-Beechview and Pretty-Up-Beechview:

Our group holds a regular schedule of pick-up/pretty-up events in the Beechview neighborhood. We would like to work more closely with other neighborhood organizations on this project, which includes planting gardens and picking up litter in the neighborhood, targeting the business district, but also working in the residential area. Check the website for our regularly updated schedule, or to read about the latest Beechview news from our perspective.

Upcoming events (rain or shine)

October 18
10 am to noon
Plant swap at Alton playground

October 25
10 am
Pretty-up: Help us plant
Meet at the library (1910 Broadway Avenue)

Renew Pittsburgh involved

Volunteers with Renew Pittsburgh were busy last month visiting six neighborhoods and joining local residents in cleanups and more. Renew Pittsburgh did its thing in Oakland, Greenfield, Brighton Heights, Mount Washington, South Side and Bloomfield.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. These businesses are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets. Relax and Wash Laundromat was warned and stopped.

Garbagevilles

Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets, alleys and places that look awful because of litter, garbage, upswept leaves, cigarette butts and other stuff. Here are some.

Important phone numbers

Need to contact the city about something that has been bothering you, like potholes and graffiti? Call the 311 Response line (alternate number is 412-255-2621). Your request will be logged and sent to the proper department. Want to contact someone directly? The following list may help.

We want volunteers

Volunteers are wanted. The work is light. Hours are your own. No meetings. No dues. No money. Payoff: clean streets and community pride. Please contact boris.weinstein@verizon.net or call 412-688-9120.

Mess by Mia

Last but not least. "Readings by Mia" circulars created a mess on streets around Walnut. Citizens Against Litter spoke to Mia about it last week. We'll see if the situation improves. Mia wins the "I Litter" award hands down.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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