Dear Eleanore Turkington:
I am a life-long resident and I feel the need to finally write this letter. West Haven has so many heavily littered areas. For the past several years I have been organizing local litter clean-ups throughout town. I also have a website and an educational program called litterawareness.org.
I have had a variety of volunteers who have helped clean up. Thank-you to all who have participated! Although sometimes the groups were small, we were successful. It is amazing what an hour of picking up litter can do for an area.
Unfortunately, perceptions about WHO is responsible for keeping an area clean can be assuming. There is a large domain of research in the area of community and environmental psychology that explains how individual people AND a community’s collective behaviors contribute to whether a park, beach, parking lot, bus-stop, or roadside stays clean. (Speaking of roadsides, it is Water Street that finally made me write this letter)!!! Water Street is an entrance area into West Haven. If I were an out of towner driving in, I wouldn’t want to drive too much further after seeing that roadside, but I am willing to help clean it up!
I have been proud to be a West Haven resident but looking around town makes it more and more difficult to stay proud. If residents and workers engage in positive behaviors and attitudes, we can make a difference. I am willing to continue to do my part. There are studies and steps we can take as individuals and as a town to make positive and permanent improvements.
I used to think just adding more trash cans would solve a big part of the problem, but it is so much more than that. There is science-based research on why and how litter ends up accumulating, but if we don’t ALL become aware and participate, change will be minimal and temporary. If anyone is interested they can visit my sight to learn more! Willing to Make A Difference
Dear Stacey Giaquinto:
Thank you for writing Gripe Vine and making people aware of the importance of a clean city and thank you for your participation in organizing and recruiting assistance with your project.
Your mention of the need for more trash barrels throughout the city provided food for thought. Here is what I would like to suggest to you: Send me a list of areas in the city that you feel would benefit the most with a receptacle.
Keeping a city clean and beautiful is everyone’s job. Perhaps the Boy or Girl Scouts would like to participate in your program. Perhaps the City of West Haven can provide several trash cans. The scouts or volunteers could stencil a message on these receptacles to not only direct trash to these cans, but also to send a strong message to all of us.
I will be happy to place this suggestion in the hands of Mayor Nancy Rossi hoping to enlist the city’s cooperation toward this effort. Who knows? This project could develop into a strong environmental effort. Just recently, I received a suggestion from one of my readers that a trash can be placed in the Haven area to eliminate litter in that projected redevelopment area. Perhaps your suggestions “could get the ball rolling.”
Let me hear from you readers or you can also email this letter writer. I see great potential here.
Gripe Vine Readers:
I have been asked by a reader why there have been a number of unanswered gripes and questions sent to the mayor’s executive assistant, Louis Esposito.
Well, I agree with you, unanswered questions and gripes are not acceptable with me. I feel very strongly in representing the individual who is seeking safety and improvement in their neighborhoods and their city. Occasionally, we may not like or agree with the responses, but the answers are there. Cooperation is important!
I compiled the complete list of unanswered/not investigated gripes and sent them all to Mayor Nancy Rossi. I will be waiting for the answers to reach my desk. There are many, so I expect them to arrive regularly, possibly intermittent. My thanks and appreciation to Mayor Nancy Rossi and her staff.
You can send your gripes, questions and comments to email@example.com or you can mail them to Gripe Vine c/o West Haven Voice, 666 Savin Ave. Please include your name, address and phone number, kept strictly confidential with me. You can also submit them via our online form by clicking here.