Clearing the air on clean-up efforts
On behalf of the PA CleanWays Board of Directors, I would like to thank City Paper for covering a story that is not often talked about ["This City Is a Dump!" Nov. 30]. Illegal dumping is an environmental crime, and we are proud to play a leading role in the cleanup and education efforts across the state. As the President of PA CleanWays, it is with great pride that I commend individuals, organizations and agencies alike within Pittsburgh and across the state on their contributions to the effort to eliminate illegal dumping.
It is also with great sincerity that I clarify PA CleanWay's relationship with enforcement agencies.
PA CleanWays is neither an advocacy organization nor a watchdog group. We are a grassroots organization that empowers people to eliminate illegal dumping and littering. PACW accomplishes our mission through five core programs including cleanups, education, beautification, stewardship and proper disposal. We work directly with communities and landowners, and our strongest partners are the enforcement agencies themselves. These include the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other local and state law-enforcement agencies.
The article implies that PA CleanWays has considered "challenging government agencies in court." This is a false implication. We work with enforcement agencies hand-in-hand to address illegal dumping, and together we have made a tremendous impact. PA CleanWays since 1990, with support of these agencies, has removed 9,000 tons of illegally dumped trash from Pennsylvania's landscape, properly disposed of 300,000 tires, and engaged 30,000 volunteers in the effort. This could not have been done without the support of these enforcement agencies and we thank them for their efforts.
-- Shannon Reiter, President
Governing by the letter
I was very interested by your article "Taking Congressional Fight to Extremes" [Nov. 23].
It recalled to me a similar, personal occurrence in 2003. I had written a letter to the Post-Gazette critical of the 2003 tax legislation (I called it a "tax boomerang"), and a couple weeks later I received a letter at home from my congressman, Tim Murphy. I thought little of how my address was obtained, since there's only one McNany listed in Green Tree, Pa. The congressman's letter itself was very respectful, though boilerplate supply-side theory. I sent the congressman a detailed reply showing that Democrats had a much better record on fiscal issues than Republicans over 20+ years -- but alas, the congressman was no longer interested in the debate. I never heard back from him. Now, I wonder what other information the congressman has been keeping on me.
-- Kevin McNany, Green Tree