also visual polution
by PAT MURPHY
"dark skies" light pollution ordinance now on the city of
Ketchum’s books, the city is attacking another quality-of-life pollutant
¾ eyesore signs.
enforcement person, Danielle Hall, is preparing to go after creeping
signage blight that can make a town look like a rundown collection of flea
pollution has been under siege for years. Lady Bird Johnson, spouse of the
late President Johnson, was an early crusader for beautifying interstate
rights-of-way and eliminating billboards. Enlightened communities were
thereafter stirred to regulate the size and character of signs.
planning and zoning administrator Lisa Horowitz believes sign regulations,
now 30 years old, need rewriting, although other issues have higher
One of the
first enforcement targets, happily, will be large "Rug Sale"
signs that pop up on weekends at more than a half dozen downtown street
volunteered as Salvation Army bell ringers at Yule time can be excused for
suddenly souring on the Christian soldiers.
Washington Post discovered a Salvation Army memo spelling out a deal with
the White House: Christian soldiers would battle Congress for Bush if the
president wrote a regulation allowing the Salvation Army to discriminate
against gays in hiring while receiving public funds for
"faith-based" programs, which, incidentally, is vaguely similar
to the "Thousand Points of Light" created by his father,
President Bush the First.
Salvation Army also confirms it has hired a lobbyist for eight months at
between $20,000 and $25,000 per month (!) ¾ plus "expenses" ¾
to soften up Congress.
So, here we
have (a) America’s best-known do-good charity among the poor (b) looking
for a political deal to legalize prejudice and (c) spending at least
$160,000 on a Washington lobbyist to help persuade Congress.
denying the deal, the White House ’fessed up and killed it, presumably
to avoid appearances that the "compassionate conservative"
president and Christian soldiers were conspiring against millions of U.S.
of struggling street corner Salvation Army workers with kettles asking for
coins for the poor is replaced by the image of political
narrow choices for my modest charitable donations: the Salvation Army’s
selective bigotry against a few of God’s children and ladling out
handsome fees for political lobbying isn’t my idea of a charity needing
President Bush is accused of turning back the clock (abandoning the
anti-ballistic missile treaty, disengaging from global affairs, trying to
legalize discrimination against gays in hiring, junking tougher clean air
rules on carbon dioxide, etc.), he claims he’s trying a "new
studying how to transfer some Environmental Protection Agency enforcement
to the states by eliminating 270 EPA jobs and sending the 50 states a
paltry $25 million for enforcement.
states to clean up the environment is the old, disastrous way: it was the
unwillingness or inability of states to protect water and air quality that
led to creation of the EPA in the first place.
watchers expected this deal: it’s a payoff to onetime Texas bug
exterminator and now House majority whip, Rep. Tom DeLay, who has
threatened to abolish EPA, which he compares to Nazi Gestapo troops.