Such a trashy situation
Should you have to pay for doing the right thing? Are we rewarding bad behavior? If you are trying to get rid of trash, it will cost you a lot more to do it the right way.
Take a tire or a mattress to the dump, and it will cost you a pretty penny or two. If you just drop it off in an orchard in the middle of the night, it won’t cost you a thing. And judging by the number of trash piles I see around the county, there are plenty of people unwilling to pay the premium required to take it to the dump.
There are many signs telling us the fine for littering in California is $1,000, but I have never heard of anyone receiving that penalty.
Might we be better served by reducing or removing the charge to dump material? Our local farmers would appreciate anything that reduces the temptation to dump trash on their property. The city should prefer not to have to send crews out to pick up illegally dumped trash.
When a reward was offered for recycling aluminum cans, we soon found there were very few aluminum cans littering our streets. It’s easy logic to see that charging people high rates to dump trash will only lead to more illegal dumping.
We all eventually fund the cost of picking up that material, so if we can encourage them to take it to the correct facility in the first place then we will benefit.
Part of the problem is the waste processing is handled by private companies that need – and deserve – to make a profit. The county must come up with programs to partner with these companies so that waste can be dropped off at their facilities at a lower cost (or no cost) with some form of subsidy making up the difference. For many the word “subsidy” is an immediate red flag. But the trash situation is a little different from other subsidy programs as it doesn’t actually generate additional trash. It just helps ensure that existing trash is disposed of properly and at a lower overall cost.
Adrian Crane is a Modesto resident who uses its excellent location to organize adventure events. Email: email@example.com
Changing a life, changing the world
One of my first childhood memories involved my mom taking me to the foster home where one of her special-needs students lived so we could evaluate the living conditions. This was a common trip in my childhood, and it taught me the responsibility we have to care about each child’s life as if each child was our own.
Little did I know that memory would shape the course of my life.
I got a voicemail in December, 2016 from Steve Ashman, the executive director of Stanislaus County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates – an organization that advocates for children who have been removed from their homes. He asked that I give him a call. Someone had recommended me for CASA board of directors.
At the time, my schedule was overwhelmingly full. And as much as I believed in CASA’s mission, there was really no way to add another commitment. I called Steve fully expecting to share the news and prepared to help in other ways. He understood, but invited me to meet him at his office. Our meeting consisted of Steve sharing life-changing stories of how the lives of foster children where being transformed by CASA volunteers.
I left our meeting shedding tears of inspiration and a signed letter of commitment to join. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
CASA’s mission is to ensure a safe, permanent and nurturing home for every abused and/or neglected child in Stanislaus County. They do it by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for each child within the dependency court system.
We are fortunate to live in a community that shares my mom’s philosophy: If a child is denied access to basic needs – food, a safe place to sleep, education and love – that should matter to all of us.
A speaker I heard recently commended our nation’s altruistic people by referencing the words on the seal of the United States: E Pluribus Unum, or “out of many, one.”
Tonight, as you tuck your children into bed and count your many blessing, send a thought or prayer out to our incredible CASA advocates for the heroic work they do for our vulnerable foster children.
Alana Scott is a Modesto resident and vice president of investments, Lattig Scott Wealth Management Group at Raymond James. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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