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Citizens Against Litter

July 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Stamp out mail box graffiti; Introducing Rock the Block; Thanks. Win some. Lose some; Renew Pittsburgh renewing; "Greenfield's looking pretty clean"; Stash the Trash volunteers; West End Village beautifying; High and low score for your neighborhood?; Marching orders worth repeating; Newest Clean Pittsburgh Stewards; Pitt Make a Difference Day October 16; "I Litter" awards; Top 10 litter tosses; Garbagevilles; Good, bad & ugly on Howe St.; Important phone numbers; Pied pipers of pick up; One last word

Our mission

Our mission is to inspire people throughout the city and region to collect litter and connect neighborhoods.

Stamp out mail box graffiti

Clean Pittsburgh Commission, U.S. Postal Service, Totally Against Graffiti (TAG), South Side Graffiti Watch, City Graffiti Task Force and City Graffiti Busters have formed a partnership to remove graffiti from street mail collection boxes and relay boxes. The program begins immediately in Carrick/Mt. Oliver, South Side, Strip District, Oakland and Bloomfield/Friendship.

Most mail boxes are graffiti tagged. It's a citywide problem. Removing graffiti can only be done by Postal Service maintenance people.

However, Pittsburgh Postmaster Rocco D'Angelo is asking the public to help. "Any mail box that is tagged or in need of repair should be reported to us," said the postmaster. The number to call is 412-359-7845.

At the CPC June 10 meeting Postmaster D'Angelo, CPC members and Carrick resident Missy Rosenfeld of TAG agreed to organize a group that would deal with the problem. A follow up meeting of the new group, named "Stamp Out Mail Box Graffiti," was held June 24. The third meeting will be held Thursday, July 15.

Ms. Rosenfeld has been waging a crusade against mail box graffiti for some time in Carrick. She researched best case programs on the internet and found a helpful one used in Bakersfield, CA. She also contacted Post Office officials in Washington D.C. and here. The postmaster and Ms. Rosenfeld have adopted the motto: "One box at a time. One neighborhood at a time."

Ms. Rosenfeld credits a number of people that have been helpful in the anti-graffiti mail box initiative startup: Frank Rende, Dan Sullivan and Alphonso Sloan of Graffiti Task Force, Patty Chavez of City Traffic, Wendy Urbanic of the Mayor's 3-1-1 Response Line, and Steve Root of Graffiti Watch.

The program here has kicked into a higher gear. More neighborhoods could be targeted every six months.

Introducing Rock the Block

"Rock the Block" organizers Tara Bailey and Kelly Carter of Sheraden are attempting to connect eight city neighborhoods to work together to spruce up their communities and improve the quality of life for residents and local businesses. This is a noble mission and they will need all the help they can get...from Citizens Against Litter, the Clean Pittsburgh Commission, the City and generous businesses and foundations.

The eight neighborhoods are Sheraden, Esplen, Chartiers City, West End, Windgap, Crafton Heights, Elliott and Westwood.

A Rock the Block meeting was held Saturday, June 26. Tara and Kelly will meet with the Clean Pittsburgh Commission on Thursday, July 8.

The group's focus has a lot of "get" to it: getting litter off streets, getting vacant lots cleared, getting after problem landlords, getting code violators cited and fined, getting volunteers and pursuing all that is positive for seniors and veterans.

Thanks. Win some. Lose some.

Mr. Litterman tips his Pirate cap to all for his votes in this year's People All Stars Among Us recognition. Close but no cigar. He appreciates the support for Citizens Against Litter to engage thousands of volunteers to redd up their neighborhoods. Our work goes on.

Renew Pittsburgh renewing

Renew Pittsburgh is back in action. The all volunteer non-profit group cleaned up and refurbished the Armstrong Playground on the South Side, Saturday, June 12. Volunteers worked with various community leaders and City Councilman Bruce Kraus. A second project was the Lewis Playground in Hazelwood tackled on Saturday, June 26. On Saturday, July 17 the group will clean up a vacant lot in Beltzhoover.

"Greenfield's looking pretty clean"

Greenfield Connect, the very active and successful anti-litter neighborhood group, asks its volunteers for monthly activities reports. The one for May was as follows: "With 94% of volunteers reporting, we picked up 28 bags of litter in May, 19.5 white and 8.5 blue. Top pickers were Kate/Rick with 8 bags from Magee Field and Mimi with 6 off Beechwood Blvd. Thanks to everyone. Things are looking pretty clean. Enjoy June!"

Pat Hassett

Stash the Trash volunteers

Check out the [Stash the Trash web site][1]. Consider signing up to help them clean illegal dumps. Stash the Trash says, "If we would have 40 to 50 volunteers we could clean 150 of the 279 known Pittsburgh dumps within a year". I bet they could.

[1]: http://www.Stash theTrash.org

West End Village beautifying

"Volunteers have been hard at work making West End Village a more beautiful neighborhood. On May 8, 17 volunteers came to plant the West Pittsburgh Partnership/Western PA. Conservancy garden. In addition to local volunteers, planters came from Grove City College, North Allegheny High School and Monroeville.

"The following weekend, May 15, West End Village partnered with Allegheny CleanWays to clean up two illegal dumpsites along Planet St. Over 20 volunteers from all over Pittsburgh removed 7.6 tons of trash from the hillside. Most of the trash was wooden industrial pallets, which were taken to Irwin where they were turned into mulch. If you witness dumping, record the license plate number and call 9-1-1. There is a $10,000 fine for dumping.

"Starting in late June the WPP began hosting high school volunteers from 10 a.m. to noon to tend to the garden, clean up trash and make the Village brighter. Students are also looking for opportunities to volunteer at local businesses and organizations. Contact WPP for more information."

High or low score for your neighborhood?

I wrote the following in the April, 2007 Newslitter about a Pittsburgh neighborhood. My question today is: "Has this happened in your neighborhood?"

"Here's a shocker, at least to me. The BLEEP neighborhood of yesteryear of clean streets and even cleaner alleys is no more. It wasn't too long ago that clean was synonymous with BLEEP. Forget it. What happened? Did all the clean, proud homeowners die? Move? Give up? BLEEP is a mess. It's not only the BLEEP main street and side streets. It's the streets around the BLEEP signature building, around the parking lots and the other streets. Litter in BLEEP is everywhere. "Please, BLEEP 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, BLEEP, 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 be more than a cheerleader and blowhard."

Marching orders worth repeating

In the last two months Shadyside merchants, property owners and community leaders have been challenged to take care of unfinished litter-causing business. It's a challenge worth repeating.

Newest Clean Pittsburgh Stewards

Welcome to new stewards in four neighborhoods. Stewards are neighborhood residents who accept leadership responsibilities for issues involving litter, graffiti, vacant lot cleaning and beautification and participate in a communications network that connects neighborhoods. They are Rebecca Mizikar in Friendship, Ryan O'Donnell in Oakland, Loralyn Fabian in East Liberty and Julie Ewing in Troy Hill.

Pitt Make a Difference Day October 16

For the third year Pitt Student Volunteer Outreach and Citizens Against Litter will partner for "Make a Difference Day", Pitt's terrific community service day. The goal this fall is to place 3,000 student volunteers in more than 55 city neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities on Saturday, October 16 during the fall weekend Redd Up on October 15-17. Terry Milani, Director, Student Volunteer Outreach, said students look forward to the interaction with residents as they work together to remove litter and trash. Some communities involve the students on planting and beautification projects.

Neighborhoods/groups confirmed are: Allentown, Arlington, Beautify Banksville Road, Beechview, Bedford Dwellings, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Crawford Square, Elliott, Carrick, East Liberty, Esplen, Fineview, Friendship, Eliza Furnace Trail, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays, Larimer, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, Hazelwood, Homestead, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mount Oliver (city and borough), Mount Washington, Morningside, North Oakland, Oakland, Oak Hill, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, St. Clair, Strip District, South Side Flats, Spring Garden, Stanton Heights, Stowe, Summer Hill, Troy Hill, West End, Dormont, Etna, McKees Rocks, Penn Hills, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses and sometimes non-profits are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets.

One non-profit -- Schenley Heights Community Development -- blitzed Walnut St. in June, putting dozens of flyers on car windshields for their 6th annual Jazz on the Hillside. I haven't picked up that much litter from Walnut in many months. There's an ordinance against what was done.

Other notable litterers include:

Top 10 litter tosses

In my Shadyside world, facial tissues, plastic water bottles, cigarette packs and boxes, plastic lid cups, straws, beverage cups, small plastic bags, parking meter receipts, ATM receipts and shopping receipts lead the lit parade. It's been this way for years.

Garbagevilles

Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets and places that are a mess. Some because of litter; some because of unswept leaves; some because of trash and junk on their property. Many because of the absence of lids on garbage cans and open waste containers. Some of these Shadyside Garbagevilles are always a mess. This is an incomplete list of course.

Good, bad & ugly on Howe St.

The intersection of Howe and Ivy in Shadyside is looking great with one new home on one corner and two homes being renovated on the other. Unfortunately, the multi-residential houses at 5525, 5527, 5529 and 5531 Howe St. decorate their fronts with garbage cans. The same is true with several of the houses on the other side of Howe. starting with 5522. Is it asking too much of you people to keep your garbage to yourselves, hide the cans in the rear and bring them to the sidewalk on pick up day?

Important phone numbers

Need to contact the city about something that's 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.

Pied pipers of pick up

Help us find more "best-of-the-best" litter gitter volunteers roaming our city neighborhood streets. They're all around us. We want to recognize their community service at the next Clean Pittsburgh Commission Meet n' Greet Mixer in March. Send their names, neighborhoods and contact information to boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

One last word

Remember. Rome wasn't redd up in a day either.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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