Friday, March 28, 2008

Recycle, Reschmycle: Garbage is Garbage, Right?

On several occasions in the past year I have witnessed, or I should say I thought I witnessed Charleston City sanitation workers dumping recycle bins into the same garbage truck where they where throwing other trash bags. I really just thought I was misunderstanding what I was seeing because surely to goodness the City wouldn't ask us to separate out or recyclables and then just indiscriminately toss them in the landfill would they? Would they?

Today's Gazette has the following "Reader's Voice" blurb:

"I just observed the city of Charleston trash collectors empty all of the recycling bins on my block of Virginia Street into the regular garbage truck with all other garbage. I had a feeling this was happening but to actually see it makes me sad. I will continue to wash all plastic and cans and stack all paper neatly into my bin and hope that our mayor will take care of this problem."

Now I would normally be the first one to laugh off a "Reader's Voice" or a Daily Mail "Vent Line" complaint, but when it corroborates what I have seen happen I might give it a little credence.

The City's Refuse Collection website says "Recycling occurs on each regular trash day." Hmmm.

I think it would be interesting for anyone who reads this to pay attention and report back as a comment if you see this happening in your neighborhood. With all of the work that community groups and government agencies do to promote recycling it would be a shame if the war was being lost on the front lines in the name of expedience, but it would not surprise me if it is happening.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Math Challenged Administration?

Debate 101: Don't risk losing credibility by basing any part of your argument on an assertion that can be easily demonstrated to be false.

Mayor Jones thinks that the Health Department's claim that they need 85 parking spaces is an excuse for not wanting to move to the space the City is suggesting in the old Morris Square building at the ballpark. According to the article in today's Gazette:

Jones sent a city employee to the health department building on Lee Street to count parking spaces Tuesday afternoon. Health officials said the department needs 85 parking spots at its new location.

Jones said the department has only 20 parking spaces now.

Health department administrators said the agency has 59 spaces (20 at the front of the building and 39 behind). The department also leases another 25 spaces at the city-owned parking garage across the street.

A quick drive by the Health Department building will confirm the existence of the 20 spaces on the Lee Street side and the 39 on the Washington Street side. I would assume that the City would know about the other 25 it leases to the Health Department, but then I also assume that any City employee could count as high as 59.

Danny says he wants to play hardball with the Health Department. He should first solidify his arguments.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blogging as Art?

I was looking for an outlet. That's the whole reason I began blogging. I like to write, but a private journal always seemed silly to me; if there isn't at least some chance someone will read what I write I find it difficult to apply much effort to the process. Of course this blog doesn't have a New York Times magnitude readership but when I write here I know that people might read it and that, like taking the road less traveled, makes all the difference.

Still, I don't really labor over the words that get posted here. I don't concern myself with technicalities of sentence structure. I prefer to write as I might speak and in doing so I am prone to have a run-on sentence or some awful alliterations, and I use commas inappropriately from time to time, but hey, it's my blog.

I really think I get from this blog, when I make time for it, the same thing that painters get from creating images on canvass. Even if what I put down here isn't going to change the world, it does change me. It helps me get things out of my system, or sometimes deeper into my system. Some of my more curmudgeonly political posts just make me feel better because sometimes somebody ought to say something; and when I do it makes me feel better. But rarely do I feel I've made a difference in what I do here.

I really like it, though, when I find this blog listed on a blogroll of a blog that I enjoy reading. This is especially nice when it's not a "West Virginia Blogger" list or a roll that I am a member of because of some other demographic criterion. I like it best when I'm just included because someone likes to read what I write. It is as flattering as anything else in my life, particularly when the other blogger is a really good writer. And there are some pretty good writers who have this blog on their blogroll.

Yes, I enjoy tracking referrals to this blog and looking at the blogs that referred readers to this one. Some of the bloggers that have this blog on their blogroll are really terrific writers and I am proud to have them included in my readership. I've never really maintained my blogroll very well but I think I'm going to change that. There are some wonderful things written in the blogosphere and I have been the recipient of many gifts in the reading of them. The least I can do is to pass it on.

In the meantime, here are two bloggers that send me readers from time to time. They are both wonderful writers and share their gift selflessly through their blogging:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Steeples of Charleston

OK, here is a shot that has become a bit cliche' , but it's still awfully nice. WVSky sent this one, but photos of the same shot from the same angle have been featured on many Charleston area blogs and adorn the walls in the homes of some of my favorite people.

The steeples in this picture are on buildings of different denominations. From nearest to farthest they are: Sacred Heart, where they worship God and downtown real estate; St.John's , where they worship God and England; Christ Church United Methodist where they worship God and John Wesley; The Baptist Temple where they worship God (you know, the REAL God); and the State Capitol where they worship Democrats.