Friday, August 31, 2007

Trash Talk

The two pictures above are of the same vacant lot. The one* showing the lot overrun with tall grass an weeds was taken at the end of July. The one showing the lot cleared was taken by me today (8/31/07).

This is a lot on the corner of Broadway and Hope. I drive by this very lot over a dozen times a week and if the address sounds familiar to you it's because it's been mentioned a lot by the media lately.

On August 2nd Eric Poulin, candidate for Mayor, and Mike Miozza, candidate for City Council stood in front of this lot, in front of the tall grass and weeds and held a press conference, (that would become part of a taped expose) to bring attention to, and to discuss their positions on, the city's litter problem.

The result was that in a matter of days the lot was completely cleaned up. I'm not sure if the lot was cleaned by the property owner or by the city, but it's clean! I thought to myself how impressive it was that two candidates for office were able to bring attention to an issue that needed to be addressed and got some results. Why hadn't any of our elected officials done that? Now certainly no one thinks that we can solve problems simply by holding press conferences and taping a focused expose on them but is does kind of point out that they don't get solved when they're ignored.

My original intent in blogging about this was to simply bring attention to something that I was happy to see and to some efforts that I appreciate. However, some people feel that these two men were simply performing a cheap publicity stunt, capitalizing on the chance to get their names in the paper, and perhaps to a degree that's true. What they did was to take an issue that had come to the forefront and seize the chance to inform the people of this city about the solutions they are proposing as candidates for office. That may be capitalizing on the moment but it's not capitalizing on the issue because the solutions they offered were the same ones they had put out months before. The difference was now the rest of the city was opening up its eyes to a problem that these men had already identified and was ready to listen.

Again these two guys are running for office and I've taken the time to watch the expose, to read their platforms on their respective websites and overall educate myself on who they are and to the quality of their candidacy, (as I've been attempting to with all the candidates), Many of their ideas are good, good enough to give them your vote? That's for you to decide. However they are both serious candidates with intelligent positions and what they achieved that day was not a cheap publicity stunt. A cheap publicity stunt would have been to organize a cleanup, to offer to the voting public a tangible result instead of a long-term solution.

* I found this picture on the campaign website for Eric Poulin and have 'borrowed' for use here. It is my hope that Mr. Poulin does not mind.


Anonymous said...

I believe this particular lot, at the corners of Hope and Broadway, is a privately owned lot. Nine days after the Poulin/Miozza press conference, it was cleaned. Many of the other properties shown have since been cleaned... or at least had the grass cut and the trash left there to fend for itself. The nastiness at the bottom of broadway has been the scene of much activity by the DPW... Seems to me like Eric and Mike did a great job of bringing this to the forefront. I can't wait to see what they can do if elected...

Lefty said...

You're right!

I noticed just the other day that at the area near Columbia and Broadway that chain link fences were peeled back while cleanup was going on in around the area near the tracks!

Too bad our elected officials didn't make sure that this type of work was done before Fall River Celebrates and the Holy Ghost Feast.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that Eric and Mike's expose led to that lot being cleaned. The lot would not have been cleaned without their focus and attention to the issue. Kudos to these candidates for presurring the administration to follow its own Cleab abd Lien program.

Lefty said...

I agree, and as the 1st anonymous commenter pointed out there's a been a noticeable clean up effort being made just down the road in another area that I believe was spotlighted.

I think it's fantastic that their actions have resulted in a cleanup but what I think is more important is that they both seem to be seriously committed to making sure the city is cleaner & better maintained and have specific ideas on how to accomplish that.

That's not to say other candidates don't haven't addressed it, just not with the same detail.

Anonymous said...

Lefty, I've been following your blog and getting quite educated on the candidates and the upcoming elections. I thank you for providing this service for "outsiders", i.e., those that don't live in Fall River.
I am confused about those two images of the previous litter lot now cleaned. They do not look like the same lot at all. Surely they weren't taken from the same angle?

The characterization of their clean
as a "cheap publicity stunt" might be attributable to the political position of the editor? Ya think?
-Faye Musselman
Payson, AZ

Lefty said...

Hi Faye,

Thanks for leaving the comment. The pictures are of the same lot but yes from different angles.

I took the picture of the cleaned up lot from Hope St. (You can see the brick retaining wall in the distance in both photos)

I found the picture of the unkempt lot on a candidate's website and used it to show the contrast. Had I found the photo before taking mine I would have tried to match the angle.

To be fair, I'm not sure if the letter to the editor or any other source I can cite actually say it's a 'cheap publicity stunt' I just believe that's what is being implied.

Considering the political slant my blog has taken of late, I'm glad your finding it of interest!