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Let's keep E.L. clean

Date: 4/20/2009

Spring is finally here, and with it, we can anticipate the usual innumerable car washes at the town center. East Longmeadow will once again have some of the cleanest cars in the region since our hard-working school and youth sport athletes are out there every weekend spraying, soaping, scrubbing and washing autos at the rotary.

Our famous "believe-it-or-not" intersection is already quite congested, dangerous and difficult on Saturday mornings, and the waving, sign-bearing students at each corner of the seven roads don't make it any easier.

However, their fundraising efforts have to be admired and ought to be supported.

Perhaps instead of cleaning cars, the students might turn their energy toward another means of earning money for their team expenses, one that would truly benefit themselves and community far beyond providing gleaming finishes on automobiles.

Town roads and streets are perpetually littered with trash, paper, bottles and cans garbage that remains for weeks, months and even years. Pease Road, near where I live, is a particular eyesore, and, unfortunately, one of many in town.

I'm guessing most East Longmeadow residents would gladly pledge a donation to students or other groups who offer to pick up litter from our neighborhood roadsides. Perhaps sports teams could sponsor a particular stretch of road year after year, the way businesses do on our highways.

Since we already pay lots of tax dollars for town services that don't seem to include litter collection, I'd happily donate money each year to help get Pease Road cleaned up. For our sports teams, it's a potential gold mine, year after year; we did this some time ago in another town with the Little League baseball team I coached. It works!

While trash collecting may not be as much fun as washing cars, it makes much more money, and it is truly a community service and learning experience for our students. It definitely would improve the view as people walked, jogged and drove through town.

Neil Williams

East Longmeadow