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What are you doing to keep it clean?

By By Buddy Bynum / editor
April 21, 2002
Beverly Knox of Meridian sent a thought-provoking letter the other day on a subject that frequent readers of this column will not find new: Keeping Meridian clean. What's wrong with us? Why do we allow yard and street litter and debris to detract from our enjoyment of our town?
For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who'd noticed the burned out shells of old, condemned houses, wrecked cars up on blocks in front yards, litter in the streets. Then out of town visitors to the newspaper began to notice, politely and quietly. I've been told by visitors more than once that Meridian looks old and dirty. That's not my image of my hometown and it's not the image I want visitors to have either, especially with the millions of dollars being invested in downtown revitalization.
Writing about the Keep American Beautiful campaign, Ms. Knox said, "What most people we have talked to want to know is why don't you say Keep Meridian Clean?'" In other words, bring the national campaign home.
What an intriguing idea.
In Jackson, a major controversy erupted when the city council adopted an ordinance prohibiting people from parking cars in their yards. City Hall was stormed with residents who, apparently, want to park cars in their yards. To its credit, the Jackson city council stuck to its guns.
Ms. Knox believes top local officials should set the example by encouraging all of their employees to "pick up and keep their own yards clean.
She suggested that the newspaper show people working in their neighborhoods. That's a fine suggestion and we'll work on helping spotlight people who are cleaning things up in the hope it will encourage others to do the same.
All of us have our favorite issues. Some things we are for and some things we are against. Surely litter is something we can all oppose and cleaning up our neighborhoods is something we can all support.