Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy Main Street

At first I was simply impressed and heartened by the energy and enthusiasm of an environmentally aware group of school children organizing to get a vote on the ballot to finally rid their town of the blight of plastic bags. Then, when corporate interests and money became involved, I saw that what we are actually witnessing is a microcosm of America today: What is unfolding in Hailey is our very own version of Occupy Wall Street—David versus Goliath. And it is truly shocking to see the lengths to which corporate, moneyed interests will go to try to muzzle a bunch of kids.

It's shameful that professional lobbyists, financed by Hilex Poly, a plastic bag company headquartered in South Carolina, are buying half-page advertisements in the Mountain Express and publishing letters and articles supporting plastic bags. Even their claims made concerning possible loss of jobs at one of the company's plastic bag factories in Jerome are somewhat exaggerated, considering that only one store in Hailey uses their bags. Most plastic bags used in the valley come from China, and most of them are not reused or recycled. Sending them to the landfill full of dog poop or household rubbish is not recycling.

So please, good citizens of Hailey, support your kids! Honor and be proud of them! After all, this trashed and polluted planet is their inheritance.

Vote yes for the children's ban on plastic bags. And in doing so prove to them that their young voices have been heard, and that democracy is still alive and well—at any rate in Hailey.

Diana Fassino


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