Monday, March 28, 2011


Driving down Estes extension the other day I saw a group of good folks on both sides of the road filling orange trash bags with litter. Then I read about the 70 volunteers who cleaned up in the Rogers Road area, collecting just over 1 ton of trash and just short of 2 tons of material that can be recycled. Traveling around our town and state, I compare us to other places I visit and it’s very obvious that we have a littering problem.

Let’s be honest, we have some slobs who lack pride and concern for the rest of us and the environment. This behavioral problem costs all of us. I know we have anti-littering laws and that there are fines, but it sure appears that it is not much of a deterrent. We spend millions of Department of Transportation dollars cleaning up and many volunteers invest a lot of time and energy picking up this stuff others throw down.

Why? What can we do to encourage people to dispose of their trash properly? What can we to instill the civic pride that would make talking about this unnecessary? We are at the point where something has to happen. Would it help if we make this a topic of community conversation and emphasis and increase our education efforts? Any solution has to start with us and I hope that we can give voice to this real problem and all get behind solving our littering problem.

Talk trash as you support our Tar Heel teams but don’t throw your trash down!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

GO HEELS! (A WCHL Commentary)

Saturday night, March 5th, was a special night in these parts. Yes, the UNC men’s basketball team soundly defeated the Blue Devils at home after losing to them at Duke back in February. It was also Senior Night and Coach Williams followed his normal practice of starting all of his seniors, even though none had ever started before. After playing 95 seconds, they turned over a 3-0 lead to the 1st string. This surely was a risky decision in so important a game that would decide the ACC regular season champion, and as special as it was, to me it wasn’t the most special thing. To me, what was most special was that we witnessed hard work, determination, and perseverance paying off.

Much of the best of what we hope will come from intercollegiate athletics is reflected in that victory. Remember the last season and how much disappointment there was with the team? Remember the early part of this season and how every critic could pinpoint with laser-certainty all the ills of the team and their lackluster prospects? Well coach Williams took two freshmen, two sophomores, and a junior who had never played a complete season and drew on their big-time hearts and abilities, and did the same with bench players and produced a solid winning team. Well-documented adversities didn’t hold them back; they became champions by drawing on their sheer determination and commitment to hard work.

We don’t know what will happen from this point on but we should be proud to have this team in our community reflecting the best of what athletics should be about.