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Citizens Against Litter

March 2013 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Litter on a stick; "Wow! I'm blown away"; Night to honor Clean Pittsburgh Stewards; Spring Redd Up April 19-20-21; 18th year for Monroeville; Four tree planting volunteer days; Two North Park litter-clearing events; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; What's new in Brookline?; Green, green, green; Don't ask, don't tell; Tell it like it is; Bill and Hilary's neighbor heard from; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; The last word

Our mission

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

"Litter on a stick" gone in some places

John Rudiak, Carrick resident advocate, writes in with some great news:

"Thanks to the City of Pittsburgh Public Works, 311 (City complaint-resolvers) and Melissa Rosenfeld (City anti-litter coordinator), Carrick and Overbrook are free of litter on a stick advertising everywhere. All of this pole advertising is gone. Hopefully more communities will follow and companies will find that this method of advertising is not permissible or economically feasible."

Mr. Rudiak has battled for litter on a stick removal and ordinance enforcement for years in Pittsburgh south neighborhoods. Hats off to him.

"Wow! I'm blown away"

There are many, many public servants (as people who work for the city are sometimes called) who perform above and beyond the call of duty. Mr. Litterman experienced one of those occasions last month that "blew him away."

At 11:46 a.m. on February 6, the son of an elderly Hazelwood couple with a recurring litter problem contacted a number of city officials. Councilman Corey O'Connor was on the list.

Within 13 minutes, at 11:59 a.m., Judy Feldman, O'Connor's Chief of Staff, was sent a copy of the complaint by the Councilman to take action.

Within three hours, at 2:44 p.m., Ms. Feldman had already contacted at least two department directors to look into the problem and responded with a detailed description of her action by email to the Hazelwood resident.

Within 24 hours, at 10:50 a.m., Feb 7, the resident had been updated again by Ms. Feldman of the positive actions already taken by the Bureau of Building Inspection.

City residents have to be impressed with the immediate response actions taken in this occasion.

On February 25, two weeks later, the Hazelwood resident e-mailed, "Just wanted to send out a thanks to all. We have seen a dramatic improvement in our situation."

Mr. Litterman tips his Steeler cap to Councilman O'Connor, Judy Feldman, and all others involved.

Night to honor Clean Pittsburgh Stewards

Thursday, March 21 is the night of the sixth annual Meet N' Greet Mixer. It's when 150 special people -- Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in 90 city neighborhoods -- are honored as Pittsburgh's cleanest and finest by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission (CPC). "These men and women organize Redd Ups and recruit volunteers to remove and prevent litter, replace vacant lots with gardens, green up city streets with tree plantings and help eliminate dumpsites," said Boris Weinstein, CPC chair. "We're hoping to attract representatives from at least 70 neighborhoods and a crowd topping 250."

The highlight of the Mixer will be the presentation of "Bob Awards," named for the late Mayor Bob O'Connor who made cleaner neighborhoods and Redd Ups a priority of his brief administration. The mayor's wife, Judy, and son, Councilman Corey O'Connor, will present awards for Volunteer of the Year, Redd Up Zone Group of the Year, and Most Improved Neighborhood and Neighborhood of the Year.

Representatives of the more than 70 Redd Up Zone groups have been invited to the Mixer for the first time.

Spring Redd Up April 19, 20, 21

Neighborhood, community and group participation is beyond 150 and growing for the Spring Earth Day Weekend Redd Up April 19-20-21 (on or about). Most of the signups are in Pittsburgh. Contact with communities is on-going. Earth Day 2013 is Monday, April 22.

Friday will be the day when school kids pick up litter on and around their campuses. Saturday will be the biggest cleanup day. Some communities, like Squirrel Hill, recruit volunteers for Sunday cleanups.

Many communities have their cleanups or plantings in the spring on other dates but their participation is listed. Community leaders are asked to sign up by contacting Boris Weinstein of Citizens Against Litter at 412-688-9120 or boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

In Pittsburgh: Alcoa "green" volunteers, AmeriCorps, Adult Probation Day Reporting Center, Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny Commons, Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Banksville, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Bull Elephants/Masons, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central North Side, Chartiers, Citizens Against Litter, Community Technical Assistance Center, Crafton Heights, Downtown Partnership, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood , Hill House Consensus Group, Homewood, Knoxville, Jail Trail, Jubilee Christian School (for Banksville Road), Highland Park, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mount Oliver, Mount Washington, New Homestead, North Point Breeze, Oakland, Oakwood, Observatory Hill, Overbrook, Paddle Without Pollution, PA. Resources Council, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Schenley, Riverview, Frick, Highland), Pittsburgh Public Schools, Polish Hill, Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf, Renew Pittsburgh, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, ServePgh, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Graffiti Watch, South Side Flats, St. Clair, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden-Deutschtown, Squirrel Hill, South Point Breeze, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy System, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End Village and Windgap.

Redd Up Zone participants: South Pittsburgh Development Corp., North Point Breeze, Jucunta St. (400 Block), and Cats & Dogs Coffee Shop.

In Allegheny County: Avalon, Brentwood, Carnegie, Chalfant, Collier, Deer Creek/Emerling Park (Indiana), Dormont, East McKeesport, Edgewood, Etna, Findley, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Heidelberg, Leetsdale, Marshall, McKees Rocks, Monroeville, Mount Oliver, Natrona Comes Together Assn. (for Natrona), PA. Dept. of Environmental Protection, Penn Hills, Pine, Pitcairn, Pleasant Hills, Port Vue, North Park Friends, North Versailles, Rosslyn Farms, Scott, Shady Side Academy, South Fayette, Friends of South Park, South Park Twp., Stowe, Tri-County Trout Club, Verona, West Homestead, Wilkins and Wilkinsburg.

In Beaver County: Center (Aliquippa) and Monaca.

In Washington County: North Strabane, Mingo Creek Park, Cross Creek Park.

In Westmoreland County: Greensburg, Keystone State Park, Latrobe, Ligonier and Smithton.

In Butler County: Allegheny Aquatic Alliance, Connoquenessing Creek (Penn), Butler City and Butler Twp.

18th Year for Monroeville

Monroeville's community litter/trash cleanup is certainly a "Granddaddy" as far as longevity goes. On Saturday April 20, the community will hold their 18th annual Jack Sedlak Monroeville Clean Up Day. Hundreds of residents are expected to participate as they do every year. On the same day, Monroeville will partner with the Area Chamber of Commerce for a Shred It event and electronic recycling. Contact Joe Sedlak for information at 412-856-3306 or sedlaj@monroeville.pa.us.

Four tree planting volunteer days

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will plant 600 trees in April at four Pittsburgh Parks: Schenley on April 7, Riverview on April 13, Frick on April 20 and Highland on April 27. To volunteer call 412-682-7275, Ext, 232 or e-mail volunteers@pittsburghparks.org.

Two North Park litter-cleaning events

Friends of North Park need volunteers for events in April and May. For the Redd Up on Saturday, April 20, volunteers will meet 9 a.m. at the Cabin on Ingomar Road near the intersection of Babcock Blvd and Wildwood Road. For the Lake & Land Clean Up on Saturday, May 4, the meeting place will be Red Barn on Pearce Mill Road across from the Boathouse at noon. Get volunteer information from Gary Rigdon at 724-544-7284 (grigdon@consolidated.net) and Robert Habegger at 412-401-5837 (rlh.xmail@gmail.com).

Adopt a Redd Up Zone

Looking for a worthwhile neighborhood project? Businesses, corporations and groups are invited to adopt their own Pittsburgh street or zone and agree to pick up litter at least four times a year for two years. Visit http://www.servepgh.com for information and application form.

Report mailbox graffiti

Pittsburgh Postmaster Joseph Meimann urges citizens to be proactive and call the Postal Service directly at 412-359-7845 to report mailbox tagging or boxes in need of repair. Help the postal service by giving them specific information of locations and crossing streets.

What's new in Brookline?

Keith Knecht of the South Pittsburgh Development Corporation in Brookline checks in:

"I just got back from a little meet and greet for Brookline's Adopt-A-Block effort. It's been going pretty well. Pam Grabowski tells me that we have about 23 people who are in the program. Plus we have the Sunday Trash walks on our boulevard business district.

"One thing that came up is optic vests. It's good to have an optic vest for a number of reasons. Obviously safety is number one, but there is also the benefit of visibility to on lookers who see regular folks doing their part to keep their neighborhood looking clean. You may have heard some of our "funny" stories related to folks picking up trash. In Brookline anyway, we have people who think we are doing public service time for breaking the law. Another hoot is that others think we are city employees and so they can throw their litter and we'll pick it up because it's our job!

"So we're looking to give those who participate regularly an optic vest. One that has our logo and Adopt-a-Block community volunteer printed on the back.  This will make us more safe, identify who we are and instill a sense of community within our group of volunteers. Sort of like a varsity sweater, heh, heh!

"Does anyone know of a supplier who can give us a good deal? We're going to start with a dozen or so. We don't need public safety grade gear, but we do want them to be durable and something that will last. I know Granger carries them, but maybe someone knows of another source. If possible we'd like to have them printed at the place we purchase them from.

"We are also looking for grant money to pay for the vests. Anyone know of any programs where this expenditure could be underwritten? Any thoughts or resources appreciated!"

Green, green, green

Dr. Jean Binstock from the North Side writes in:

"Thank you as always for this significant newsletter. Alcoa, Allegheny City Society and all levels of "greening" government agencies and the Steelers contributed to our GTECH garden project at the corner of Reesdale and Allegheny Avenue on the Northside this year. We re-nourished the Mary Cassatt Memorial Garden with Redd Ups, weeding and trees/cannas plantings. The work goes on this year."

Don't ask, don't tell

"I can understand Anderson Cooper's reaction ("Anderson goes bananas", Newslitter V9N2), but agree that Mr. Litterman's approach is the wiser way. Confrontation (to litterers) isn't the answer. Education and doing the right thing by example is."

Judith Robinson, Oakland

Tell it like it is

"Good for Anderson Cooper!"

Cliff Gold, Des Moines, IA

Bill and Hilary's neighbor heard from

"Mr. Litterman, you have to stop referring to student citizens who probably are the best workers as little kids. 'Young patriots' would be a better slogan for these 'kids'. Keep it up."

Ted Corn, Chappaqua, NY

"I Litter" awards

Advertising and promotional materials turn into litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses and sometimes non-profits are often responsible when they put their business on Shadyside streets. There's less of this going on but it's still going on. February's business litterers are the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra and Pesaro's Pizza.

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. Some because garbage cans sit in the front of their houses. 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.

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.

The 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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