Our anti-litter guru, Boris Weinstein, a retired marketing executive, has made a clean Pittsburgh his priority, and it may be his greatest legacy, especially if the rest of us embrace it and begin respecting our city as it deserves to be respected.
Boris started Citizens Against Litter several years ago and has since organized massive neighborhood clean-ups and smaller groups of people who adopt zones to regularly de-litter.
This installment is a worthy editorial that deserves to be spread around. Take it away, Boris:
Like most cities, Pittsburgh has litter problems. It comes in four flavors:
* Everyday litter;
* Illegal dumpsites;
* Businesses whose owners don't sweep sidewalks and gutters regularly;
* Homeowners/ renters and building owners who break the law with overflowing, uncovered and insufficient garbage and waste containers.
What should be done about our litter problems?
The time has come for Pittsburgh to push beyond neighborhood Redd Ups. This is a challenge for our next mayor to start a whole new initiative -- not just tweak a hand-me-down version from Mayors Ravenstahl and O'Connor.
Our next mayor needs to make Zero Litter a policy, with an emphasis on enforcement as a priority. Pittsburgh needs an all-out fresh effort to dig out the roots of our litter problems. Please, though, not city-wide at first. Too much. Too fast. It won't work.
Start in one or a few neighborhoods with a focused. affordable one-year program that brings together a committed mayor who directs his staff, Public Works, Bureau of Building Inspection, Public Safety, Urban Renewal Authority, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, City Council, magistrates and concerned others to strictly enforce ordinances, enact new ordinances as needed, issue warnings, write citations and collect fines.
A well-managed test of Zero Litter would work, providing there is a no-nonsense strategy of goals, studies and best methods and accountability with encouragement for neighborhood participation and ongoing oversight.
The key is commitment: The next mayor must make Zero Litter enforcement a top priority.
Photo at right is of a de-littering effort in Beltzhoover.
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Have you seen the front page of today's Post-Gazette?
In case you can't make out those statistics at the top of the page, here they are:
81: Number of victories by the Pirates so far this season, guaranteeing they will not have a losing season
20: Prior to this season, the number of consecutive losing seasons, a record for the four major sports
1,374-1,796: The Pirates' aggregate win-loss record in the 20 losing seasons since they lost Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series
7: Number of losing seasons between the Steelers and Penguins during the Pirates' losing streak
And we're not the only ones who think the Bucs are cover worthy. Sports Illustrated announced today that the team will also grace the front of its Sept. 9 issue.
You may remember that closer Jason Grilli was on the cover of the July 22 issue. Two Pirates on the cover in one summer? Here's what Sports Illustrated has to say about that:
For the first time in 21 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates will finish with at least a .500 record and for the second time this season, their magical summer has landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated. All-Star closer Jason Grilli was featured on the front of the July 22 issue and this time it’s another of Pittsburgh’s five All-Stars, centerfielder and MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, who gets top billing. That’s appropriate because McCutchen might be the single biggest reason the Pirates enter play on Wednesday with a two-game lead in the National League Central as they chase their first division title and playoff berth since 1992, which is also the last time they finished with a winning record.
Oh, and just for kicks, this was the Pirates' presence on the front page of the Post-Gazette on Sept. 4, 2012:
Just a teeny-tiny mention in the skybox ... of the team's loss to Houston the previous night. What a difference a year makes, huh?
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This blog post is dedicated to them! To the very young and very-very young! To the Pirates' fans that have never known how it feels to have their favorite team have a winning season...
... because they hope, they cheer with pure joy... and they are, well, cute.
Especially this guy, who before Pirates' game against Milwaukee yesterday held a drawing addressed to Marte —"get better Starling," it said, according to Deadspin. Marte noticed the kid in the stands and accepted the drawing. He then taped it up in the Pittsburgh dugout.
And this girl munching on popcorn during Bucs-Cubs game at PNC Park (Photo by Pete Diana/Post-Gazette)
And this little, very little guy, rooting for the Bucs with some help (Photo by Matt Freed/Post-Gazette).
And these guys
And this guy....
... just kidding! :)
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This week, Burger King announced it was unveiling an exciting new sandwich on Sept. 1: A burger with fries on it.
From the AP:
The burger, which clocks in at 360 calories and 19 grams of fat, is a relatively novel offering, but doesn't require any extra investment from Burger King; it's basically a standard beef patty topped with four of the chain's french fries.
Image: Associated Press
Pittsburghers, naturally were like
Because our signature sandwich, courtesy of Primanti Bros. has had fries on it for years. It's a staple of the menu, and always makes the "Reasons Pittsburgh is awesome" lists.
Dear Burger King: Let us know if you need any pointers