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From the Editor

The Adirondack region is one of the worlds most beautiful areas. For centuries people have come here to enjoy the mountains and lakes. Sadly, the people closest to this gift of nature those of us who live here have often been less than respectful. The truth can be found along roadsides as the winter snows recede; litter abounds. A group of Moriah residents have decided to fight back and clean up. Led by David Bruce, Moriah is planning a town-wide roadside clean-up project April 21 to mark Earth Day. Bruce has organized dozens of volunteers to serve as coordinators for specific roads. Those coordinators will lead other volunteers in picking up litter along miles of roadways. A successful project depends on having each road or combinations of roads with a volunteer coordinator who will contact his or her neighbors to help with the cleanup, Bruce told the Moriah town board recently. To date, he said, volunteers have agreed to clean 88 percent of Moriahs roads. Bruce estimates it will take volunteers an hour to clean each mile of road. People interested in helping with the clean-up effort can call a volunteer coordinator, Nancy Tuffield at 546-7254, Becky Gilbo at 546-8631 or any member of the Oversight Committee comprised of Paul Salerno, Jeanette Rotella, Richard Carpenter, Jamie Wilson, the Rev. Charmaine Rogers and Pete Rotella. The town board has agreed to support his project and will provide orange bags, reflective vests and pickup services once roads have been cleaned by volunteers. Ugly roadside trash is an enemy to all and collectively it is a community problem that requires the whole community to solve it, Bruce said. The first step is to clean it up and the second step is to prevent it from happening. Things like styrofoam cups last upwards of 20 years in the environment, he added. Diapers may last more than 300 years. These are not only environmental concerns but there are economical concerns that have a direct impact on the tourism for our region. People do not want to come to a place that is dirty and trashy. There are laws on the books that can fine the offenders but often it requires catching people in the act or some kind of paper trail. While these laws exist, they are not working. The community must take a stand and change the way they live their lives, Bruce said. Once we do this, if people do it (litter) again itll be pretty discouraging, he said. We have to take responsibility for what happens in our community. Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, who has been battling litter issues for years, echoed Bruces comments. Its a question of personal responsibility and pride in our community, he said. Earth Day was started on April 22, 1970, in response to environmental issues fostered around the protest tied to the Vietnam War. Since that time, Earth Day has been held every year with a goal to Think globally, act locally. The Moriah effort is a wonderful example of that Earth Day goal. Bruce and all those who take part in the Moriah clean up are to be lauded. Fred Herbst is Times of Ti editor. He can be reached at fred@denpubs.com

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