A little bit of this and a little bit of that and Go Saints

Published 3:13 pm Monday, January 22, 2007

A well-placed rumor, or lie, showed how effective such things can be Thursday night when dozens of Pearl River County residents showed up at a public hearing on the proposed expansion of Central Landfill.

Any hearing on that subject tends to draw a goodly number of people, but this hearing probably drew even larger numbers of people than it would have otherwise because of a colorful postcard that began arriving in mailboxes here on Tuesday.

The postcard said that the supervisor whose name and photo appeared on the postcard was planning to vote to turn Pearl River County into a dump for waste from elsewhere, including industrial and toxic waste.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In case you didn’t receive one, the postcard carried the picture and name of your supervisor regardless of which Pearl River County supervisor’s district you live in. It was an expensive production. If you didn’t get one, you need to go register to vote for the cards apparently were addressed using a list of Pearl River County voters.

Several things were wrong with the card. The board of supervisors, especially the current one, has been very hesitant about expanding the landfill or expanding the area from which it can take household waste and commercial waste, but not manufacturing waste. Note those words — household waste and commercial waste.

Those words are important because household and commercial waste is different from what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality classify as toxic waste. In fact, dumps that take toxic waste have to meet even more stringent safety and containment requirements than those taking household and commercial waste.

Central Landfill is not certified to take toxic waste, only household and commercial waste. If any toxic waste is being dumped there, as some allege, then those making the allegations need to show evidence and notify the property authorities immediately so enforcement action can take place.

Another little misleading item about these postcards were the garbage dump photos on them. If you think those are photos of Central Landfill, go take a look. The landfill is hard to miss as it rises like a mountain to the east of the railroad tracks north of McNeill.

Those photos actually may be some that were used decades ago to force the federal government and other governing bodies to write regulations requiring landfill operators to properly cover over landfills to keep the waste from being carried outside them by birds and animals. If those photographs are part of the collection that I think they are, they may even be copyrighted and their use on those cards may not have been permitted. Usually a copyright stamp and credit has to accompany copyrighted material.

The worst part of those postcards, though, was their anonymity. The local group, Concerned Citizens of Pearl River County, that has been fighting any expansion at the landfill disavows knowledge of the cards and its chairman is upset because he believes his organization probably is being blamed for them when they had nothing to do with them.

Now, both the supervisors who have to vote on whether the landfill is expanded and the group fighting the landfill, and seeking to have any expansion subjected to a vote by he residents of Pearl River County, have been tarred by this anonymous mailer.

If you have a fuss with someone, especially a public official, stand up and make yourself known. In this case, you should have known that plenty of people who live in Pearl River County were on your side, which makes me wonder what is your real motive for sending the cards. What are you trying to hide? All I can surmise is that whatever it is that you are hiding, it must be worse than expanding the landfill.

Now on to a happier subject. If you are a Saints fan, as I am, then probably right about now you are on pins and needles waiting for the game to start later today, hardly believing our Saints have gotten this far.

I’m sticking to my guns. I’m still saying the Saints will win by at least 10 points. Still, my guts are all in a knot. I’m going to have a hard time sitting down to watch this one. Today, a coach potato I will not be. More likely, I will be a pacing, fingernail biting fanatic.

Rain is predicted for today. I’m glad. That gives me an excuse to stay in the house and watch some football, not that Genie would try to have me doing any honey-dos during a game of this importance. She probably will be pacing the floor right along beside me as the game progresses.

I have no illusions, though I expect the Saints to win by 10 or more points, this is going to be a tough game, the kind that really won’t be over until it’s over, to quote Yogi Berra, even though he was a catcher for my favorite team to hate in any sport.

I hope we all, Saints fans that is, enjoy this game as much as I expect us to.

Go Saints!