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Citizens Against Litter

October 2015 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Doing it right; What litter pickers need are more devoted nerds; River cleanup Downtown; Beaver County tire collections; Fall Redd Up October 24; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; 60 years ago; The last word

Our mission

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

Doing it right

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition did it right when it sent this notification to neighbors last month:

Dear Neighbors,

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and some of its partners are hosting a second Night Market on Murray Avenue between Forbes and Bartlett Saturday, Sept. 26. The Night Market will offer music, food, and fun for all ages from 6-10 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to pick up litter as the Night Market begins to wrap up. Please join us at 9:45 p.m. at the Post Office parklet, where we will provide volunteers with gloves, vests, grabbers, and bags.

If you're able to volunteer, please respond to this email. Thanks so much!

What litter pickers need are more devoted nerds

(Editor's Note: The article below, The Nerd, was written by the l6-year old grandson of Boris Weinstein, AKA Mr. Litterman, in a student-run multi-media publication, called "The LC Lens." Cole Weinstein is a pro football nerd at LaCanada High School in the Los Angeles area. For the past two years he has written his own website, http://www.nflology.com.

After reading his article Mr. Litterman has concluded that he, too, is a nerd -- a litter nerd. As the article says, "Being a nerd boils down to someone with passion. Someone with such love for a specific idea that they devote themselves to it." Our anti-litter movement needs more nerds.)

The Nerd
September 19, 2015
By Cole Weinstein

I remember in 8th Grade, during the school's annual Red Ribbon week to discourage drug and alcohol use, the school's slogan for the day was "drugs are for nerds." While the slogan was really only a not-so-clever play on words to give all kids who wore their bracelets a box of Nerds candy, it was a statement that really left an impact on me. The message seemed pretty clear: "who would ever want to be a nerd?"

What is a nerd? On the surface there seems to be a very simple answer. According to the Oxford Dictionary a nerd is "a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious." Basically, a nerd is that awkward kid in school with glasses and a pocket protector who speaks funny and can't talk to people, right? While this is the simple answer and is widely accepted by society, this misleading idea is alarmingly incorrect.

Underneath the first definition is a second one which states that a nerd is "a single-minded expert in a particular technical field." While wildly different than the first definition, this one provides some interesting truths. In the end, the second definition boils down to the idea of knowledge and that a "nerd" has it. But, what kind of knowledge makes a world of difference. The difference between the awkward kid who can name off the first 50 digits of pi and the confident one who can name every Grammy winner of the last 30 years is that one is more socially accepted than the other. The idea of the nerd has drifted from its original definition to having an extremely negative connotation.

This is all fine and well but where do I fall into this? The answer is very simple, I am a football nerd. Even though I don't play the sport, football, mainly the NFL, is one of the truly great things in my life. I love everything about the sport from the strategy to the beauty of the game. From a leaping touchdown catch to a perfectly timed strip sack, I find the sport of football absolutely amazing. I know all the players, watch all the games, and any time not spent watching the games is spent on Bleacher Report or playing Madden. Most everyone I know would call me a "single-minded expert" on the NFL and would consider the NFL and the sport of football to be a "technical field," so why am I not considered a nerd? Because football has a different connotation than math or science. It doesn't fit in the stereotypical nerd box.

Society's definition is all wrong. Being a nerd boils down to someone with passion. Someone with such love for a specific idea that they devote themselves to it.

As I started to realize this idea, a world of new ideas flooded my head and I began to realize more people were "nerds" than they let on. More importantly I realized that people who weren't nerds were the ones that needed to be ashamed. In my humble opinion living a life without passion of any kind is a life that I'm not sure I would want to live.

Football is such an integral part of my life because not only does it take up much off my time and give it enjoyment but, a lot of my friendships are based around a mutual love of football. The same goes for my other more "stereotypically nerdy" passions in movies and videogames. My life is based around my passions and I am not completely sure I would know what to do without them. Passion is a beautiful thing and whether your love is music, fashion, sports, math, history or science you shouldn't be ashamed of it.

At a younger age, I struggled with my passion of football in a town where the sports talk, if any, was about the Lakers or Dodgers and the nearest pro football team was a 3 hour drive south. I felt others didn't appreciate my passion and it took me many years to understand that, that's not a bad thing. As I matured I began to understand the power of the "nerd" and decided to take advantage of it.

For the past two years I have written my own blog, nflology.com, where I predict games and share my opinions on the game I love. I also cover the Spartan football team for the school newspaper, and I hope one day my passion can turn into a career and want to share my work with the world.

In the end, my life is defined by my passions and passion is what defines the lives of countless others. While it can be tough to feel alone in a love for something, that does not mean you are alone in having a passion. Continue to do what you love and love what you do because in the end that's what really matters. Be careful next time you make fun of a nerd because you may just be one, and for that reason I am proud to say I am a nerd.

You can reach Cole Weinstein who authored the article, The Nerd, at http://www.thelclens.com.

River cleanup Downtown

Paddle Without Pollution has scheduled a cleanup in Downtown Pittsburgh for Saturday, October 10. For information contact 412-260-9001 or paddlewithoutpollution@comcast.net.

Beaver County tire collections

Independence Conservancy has two upcoming community tire collections in October:

Friday, October 16 -- Hookstown Fair Grounds (1198 Route 168), 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, October 17, also at Hookstown Fair Grounds, 9 a.m. to noon.

Fall Redd Up October 24

The date for the Fall Redd Up and Pitt Make a Difference Day is Saturday, October 24. Fall Redd Up signed-in communities and groups are:

Pittsburgh: Alcoa Volunteers, Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny County Day Reporting Center, Allentown, Arlington, Aviary, Bates Street Project, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Carnegie Mellon's Alpha Phi Sorority, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Chartiers, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, Duquesne University's Spiritan Ministry, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, Elliott, Fairywood, Friends of the Riverfront, Friendship, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Larimer, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mount Washington, New Homestead, New Outlook Academy, Oakland, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Polish Hill, Point State Park, Shadyside, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Oakland, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Hill, Spring Garden-East Deutschtown, St. Clair, Stanton Heights, Swisshelm Park, The Academy System, Thirty First St. Lofts, Troy Hill, Uptown and Windgap.

Allegheny County: Braddock, Collier, Crafton, Dormont, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh, East McKeesport, Etna, Friends of North Park, Friends of South Park, Forest Hills, Glassport, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Leetsdale, Lincoln, East McKeesport, McKeesport, Mount Lebanon, McKees Rocks, North Versailles, Penn Hills, Pitcairn, Port Vue, Scott, Sharpsburg, South Park, Stowe, Verona, West Homestead West Mifflin, West View, Wilkinsburg,Wilkins and Wilmerding.

Butler County: Butler Township

Last year, result surveys indicated that approximately 10,000 volunteers participated in 150 to 200 communities. Volunteers collected approximately 200 tons of litter. Also last year Pitt students, engaged in their seventh Pitt Make a Difference Day, set a record for participation with 3,724 volunteers at 115 sites. Pitt officials estimated that their volunteers delivered 13,240 service hours. PMADD is one of the largest -- possibly the largest -- events in National MADD that attracts over 3 million volunteers.

Report mailbox graffiti

Pittsburgh Postal Service invites citizens to be proactive and call the Postal Service 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.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising and promotional materials turn into litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses and sometimes nonprofits are often responsible when they put their business on Shadyside streets. There's less of this going on. September's top litterer continues to be the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra free advertising circular.

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 Garbagevilles in Shadyside 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.

60 years ago

This is interesting. The year was 1955 and who would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon? Some were considering leaving the car in the garage.

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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