Marianas Variety, Friday, October 6, 2006
By Zaldy Dandan
A LIGHT bulb went on somewhere in the administration and in the community, as young, ebullient, and energetic characters take center stage in the campaign to clean up the environment. Rep. Cinta Kaipat has picked up the environmental awareness campaign from a small but determined band of tree-planters while the chamber of commerce has sponsored beach cleanup brigades.
All this has focused public attention on the need to beautify the island.
The result: an aggressive litter campaign that will include presentations at the schools, public education programs, and a stack of litter tickets, each attached to a whopping $150 fine for each offense. Smokers beware: throwing a cigarette butt out of your car window will bring a $150 fine. Not steep when you consider how disagreeable it must be for the cleanup crew to pick up someone’s soggy, dirty cigarette butt, which takes forever to degrade.
This is great news for the community. Judging by the number of beautification projects underway each week, it seems that we finally have a dynamic way to clean up the environment. This is a project that deserves complete support from the general public.
Now when the litter tickets get distributed, let’s not hear government officials talk about a roll-back of the penalty. Let’s not undermine the effort with back-sliding. Everyone’s gotten notice, and this is good for the community and the environment. Let’s all pitch in!