The Herald-Dispatch |

Neighborhood Issues in Huntington and Cabell County
Here we discuss issues of importance to every city and neighborhood in Cabell County, W.Va. What do you see as issues? What are the most pressing needs? What positive things are happening? Together, we can make Huntington and Cabell County a better area in which to work, play, study and raise a family. Have your say right now. Just click on the "Post Comments" button at the end of each posting; you can post anonymously. Together, we will accomplish anything we can imagine!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Should we have more cameras to catch people who litter?

Dec. 29, 2006 LITTER CAM: Logan Man Fined for Dumping Garbage By HNN Staff Logan, WV (HNN) -- A Logan man must pay a fine and perform supervised cleanup after being caught on video contributing to an open dump. Clinton Vance, Jr. pleaded guilty in Logan County magistrate court Dec. 20 2006.

Vance was caught tossing out household garbage from his vehicle into an open dump in Bruno Hollow. Vance was fined $100 plus court costs, given a 90-day suspended jail sentenced, and ordered to perform 16 hours of supervised cleanup in his community.

A hidden litter camera caught Vance throwing garbage and debris from his van. Department of Environmental Protection Inspector Tom Ferguson identified the man from his license plate making it possible for the agency to pursue charges against him. There are covert cameras equipped with low-light capabilities and night vision in every district in West Virginia.

To report an area with heavy open dumping, call (800) 322-5530 and ask for the Pollution Prevention and Open Dump program, or go to

Should we have more cameras placed to enforce WV anti-litter laws?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Swig, Swallow, Sip And Gulp!

Do you agree that the West Virginia State Legislature should pass a law placing a deposit on all bottles in order to eliminate litter on our streets and highways?

After reading the news report below, let me know what you think about this issue.

A News Report by Mannix Porterfield of the Beckley Register-Herald

CHARLESTON — By any standard, West Virginians collectively have a powerful thirst. To slake it, they are known to swig, swallow, sip and gulp, over the space of a calendar year, up to $1 billion in bottled water, soft drinks, sport juices and beer. “We drink that much, believe it or not,” says Linda Frame, a program manager for West Virginia Citizen Action Group.

Trouble is, many are inclined to toss the can or bottle out the side window of a motor vehicle, exacerbating a litter problem. For that reason, WVCAG is leading a renewed fight in the 2007 legislative session to impose a 10-cent deposit fee on all beverages. Many simply apply the familiar moniker “bottle bill,” but in reality, it’s designed to cover all beverages.

“We have a litter problem in West Virginia,” says Frame, who fired the opening salvos in what could be a testy legislative war by showing lawmakers a film on how the deposit program has fared in Maine, now approaching the third decade of such a law. “And we also don’t get as many of our containers to recycling centers as we could. This bill works really, really well in other states that have it. We could greatly reduce our litter if we could bring it here.

”Eleven states have lined up to pass such laws, and others are thinking about joining the parade — Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, and Mississippi, to name a few. Based on the annual consumption of everything from Gatorade to Bud Light to Coca-Cola, Frame says the deposit would reach some $100 million. If 80 percent of such containers were returned, that would leave some $20 million to run an enhanced recycling effort across the state, she says.

Already, the measure has come under fire. The West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association (OMEGA) scoffs at the proposed law as generally weak and ineffective in dealing with litter. “Even the most comprehensive bottle bill targeting all beverage containers only addresses 8.5 percent of roadside litter and 4 percent of municipal solid waste generated,” OMEGA says. “Besides, the return rates achieved by deposit programs are dropping rapidly, especially in states where comprehensive recycling alternatives are widely accessible.

”Frame disputes this, saying states with so-called bottle laws have witnessed a decline of between 60 and 90 percent in beverage container litter, and 40 to 60 percent in overall rubbish left on roadsides. “Unfortunately, it kind of gets into a battle of data,” she said.

Frame pointed to one publication reporting that “hundreds” of surveys put the litter reduction rate as high as 80 percent. Container-type litter fell by 84 percent in Michigan, while all litter fell by 41 percent.

OMEGA feels the bottle law would be unfair to stores operating along the border, since residents would merely go into another state to buy a 12-pack of soft drinks, avoiding the $1.20 deposit fee. Moreover, OMEGA says this could inspire a dishonest practice of such consumers turning out-of-state beverages into West Virginia recycling centers to pocket a deposit fee that wasn’t paid in the first place.

Frame says technology can solve this, by altering the bar code, or simply denoting a West Virginia product with a “W.Va.” attached to the label, as one popular brewery does nowadays to show states with bottle laws. “There is some really neat technology out there,” she said. “In Maine, there is a company that sets up a business on the parking lot of grocery stories. Consumers drop bags off. They don’t have to go inside. It scans the bags, gives you an instant count, and you can spend it in the grocery store.” - (End of news article.)

What do you think?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Nice is always a better choice

A good friend emailed this to me today:

At a TD Club meeting many years before his death, Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant told the following story, which was typical of the way he operated.

"I had just been named the new head coach at Alabama and was off in my old car down in South Alabama recruiting a prospect who was supposed to have been a pretty good player and I was 'havin' trouble finding the place. Getting hungry I spied an old cinder block building with a small sign out front that simply said 'Restaurant.'

I pull up, go in and every head in the place turns to stare at me. Seems I'm the only white 'fella' in the place. But the food smelled good. So I skip a table and go up to a cement bar and sit. A big ole man in a tee shirt and cap comes over and says, 'What do you need?' I told him I needed lunch and what did they have today? He says, 'You probably won't like it here, today we're having chitlins, collared greens and black eyed peas with cornbread. I'll bet you don't even know what chitlins are, do you?' I looked him square in the eye and said, 'I'm from Arkansas, I've probably eaten a mile of them. Sounds like I'm in the right place.' They all smiled as he left to serve me up a big plate.

When he comes back he says, 'You ain't from around here then?' And I explain I'm the new football coach up in Tuscaloosa at the University and I'm here to find whatever that boy's name was and he says, yeah I've heard of him, he's supposed to be pretty good. And he gives me directions to the school so I can meet him and his coach.

As I'm paying up to leave, I remember my manners and leave a tip, not too big to be flashy, but a good one and he told me lunch was on him, but I told him for a lunch that good, I felt I should pay. The big man asked me if I had a photograph or something he could hang up to show I'd been there. I was so new that I didn't have any yet. It really wasn't that big a thing back then to be asked for, but I took a napkin and wrote his name and address on it and told him I'd get him one.

I met the kid I was 'lookin' for later that afternoon and I don't remember his name, but do remember I didn't think much of him when I met him. I had wasted a day, or so I thought.

When I got back to Tuscaloosa late that night, I took that napkin from my shirt pocket and put it under my keys so I wouldn't forget it. Heck, back then I was excited that anybody would want a picture of me. And the next day we found a picture and I wrote on it, 'Thanks for the best lunch I've ever had. Paul Bear Bryant.'

Now let's go a whole 'buncha' years down the road. Now we have black players at Alabama and I'm back down in that part of the country scouting an offensive lineman we sure needed. Well, he's got two friends going to Auburn and he tells me he's got his heart set on Auburn too, so I leave empty handed and go on to see some others while I'm down there. Two days later, I'm in my office in Tuscaloosa and the phone rings and it's this kid who just turned me down, and he says, 'Coach, do you still want me at Alabama?' And I said, 'Yes I sure do.' And he says okay, he'll come. And I say, 'Well son, what changed your mind?' And he said, 'When my grandpa found out that I had a chance to play for you and said no, he pitched a fit and told me I wasn't going nowhere but Alabama , and wasn't playing for nobody but you. He thinks a lot of you and has ever since y'all met.' Well, I didn't know his granddad from Adam's housecat so I asked him who his granddaddy was and he said, 'You probly don't remember him, but you ate in his restaurant your first year at Alabama and you sent him a picture that he's had hung in that place ever since. That picture's his pride and joy and he still tells everybody about the day that Bear Bryant came in and had chitlins with him. My grandpa said that when you left there, he never expected you to remember him or to send him that picture, but you kept your word to him and to Grandpa, that's everything. He said you could teach me more than football and I had to play for a man like you, so I guess I'm going to.' I was floored.

But I learned that the lessons my mama taught me were always right. It don't cost nuthin' to be nice. It don't cost 'nuthin' to do the right thing most of the time, and it costs a lot to lose your good name by breakin' your word to someone. When I went back to sign that boy, I looked up his Grandpa and he's still running that place, but it looks a lot better now; and he didn't have chitlins that day, but he had some ribs that 'woulda' made Dreamland proud and I made sure I posed for a lot of pictures; and don't think I didn't leave some new ones for him, too, along with a signed football. I made it clear to all my assistants to keep this story and these lessons in mind when they're out on the road. And if you remember anything else from me, remember this - It really doesn't cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable."

Coach Bryant was in the presence of these few gentlemen for only minutes, and he defined himself for life, to these gentlemen, as a nice man.

Regardless of our profession, we do define ourselves by how we treat others, and how we behave in the presence of others, and most of the time, we have only minutes or seconds to leave a lasting impression - we can be rude, crude, arrogant, cantankerous, or we can be nice.

Nice is always a better choice.

I like what Stephen Grellet, French/American religious leader (1773-1855) said, "I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."

In dealing with our neighbors and fellow citizens, "nice" is always a better choice.