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Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Published August 18. 2012 09:01AM

Dear Editor:

What a shameful sight to drive along the most picturesque highways in our beautiful State of Pennsylvania and see recklessly discarded trash everywhere along the roadsides. If people can have such disregard for the appearance of their home State I wonder what their homes look like.

How much effort does it take to keep your accumulated trash within your vehicle until you arrive at a provided trash container, or you reach your destination and dispose of your refuse properly? I feel anyone who demonstrates such little respect for their home State and countryside has no self respect either. This was something I taught my children whenever we traveled anywhere, was never to throw anything out of the car windows, and to this day they are very anti-litter conscious.

Recently, my wife and I vacationed in upstate New York, and as we traveled all through the State toward our destination on different roadways, we noticed very little to no trash accumulating along the roadside with signs offering the local residents to "adopt a highway" to keep their highways clean. This was very impressive to us, and this greatly contributed to the beauty of the State of New York. It demonstrates the care people have for their home State, and it is very discouraging to see how little people care for the appearance of Pennsylvania when you see the amount of trash spread all along our State roadways.

Whatever happened to all of the "fine for littering" signs which used to be all over the highways in Pennsylvania years ago? It most likely became an extra added burden for our highway patrolmen to be enforcing this law which is understandable. I believe it is up to all of us as ethical individuals to have enough self respect and pride for our home State to not be a "litterbug". To appreciate the beautiful State we are all blessed to reside in, and make the small amount of needed effort it takes for all of us to keep our roadways trash free by our own individual self control.

Furthermore, if any of us who care about this out of control situation notice someone carelessly littering, we should take the initiative to write down their license plate number and report the incident to the proper authorities. This prohibited act of trash pollution should be considered a criminal offense of careless neglect for our state environment. Whoever is charged with breaking this law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent including a large fine. Why not have prisoners serving time for nonviolent crimes, while they are being supported behind bars by our tax dollars, out on supervised road gang cleanup.

We all need to get serious about putting an end to the over abundant amount of littering going on all around us, and begin to realize we must all do our share in preserving the scenic, environmental beauty of our home State of Pennsylvania, because the clean appearance of our state is a reflection on the class of people who dwell here.

Think about what you are doing before you throw what appears to be an insignificant piece of trash out of your vehicle window. Remember this; "America will remain as beautiful as we all keep it."

John M. "Jack" Selby


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