120 Trash Baskets Are Good for a Community
by Anthony Stasi
Apr 15, 2015 | 5595 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Eric Ulrich is bringing 120 new “high end” wastebaskets to his south Queens district. These types of issues may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but in reality they matter a great deal.

A year ago film director Spike Lee, in what was basically a racist rant about gentrification, mentioned how garbage pick-up was not a priority in Brooklyn. Despite Lee’s polemical approach to development, the fact is that there are not always enough trash receptacles in busy areas.

Today, more of what we consume is disposable. Every cup of coffee, iced tea, or beverage that ends with the letters “achino” comes with a straw and cup that gets thrown out.

In sections of the city, such as parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, there could be more trash baskets. Without them, refuse can easily wind up in the streets or on sidewalks.

Consider this a quality-of-life issue. Trash baskets are not going to bring in a new constituency of voters, although store owners would likely welcome it, but this is what we want the City Council following up on. So much of the city runs on quality-of-life concerns.

What Cuban “Glasnost” Could Mean For Our Diets

If and when most of the economic sanctions are lifted with Cuba, there comes the question of trade. Cuba imports a lot of its oil - it produces a little, but imports most of it. It could now be a market for our more sophisticated energy resources.

What might the United States buy back from Cuba? It is possible that real sugar might make a return to many of our meals. When sugar prices were too high, our agri-business turned to high fructose corn syrup, the sugar replacement that is in almost everything we eat.

Some say that corn syrup does not burn off as fast as a real sugar, which might explain the uptick in people with diabetes since the 1970s when we went full blast with a corn-based sugar additive instead.

Corn is like gold to American agriculture. We do everything with it: make it into chips, use if for sugar, turn it into gasoline, and eat it as just plain corn. Trading freely with Cuba could mean that natural sugar will be more visible in the future, and that may be good for us and how we eat.

From the Readers...

After last week’s article about how day baseball can be made more accessible without really losing money, some readers explained that the Mets offer discounted tickets to particular civic organizations as a way to get more people to the ballpark.

This is a good program, but day baseball even in the summer months is not a draw in any park in the country. It's good to see some of the local teams doing the appropriate outreach, and the way the Yankees have started their season, there may be more coming.

In the end, however, there has been so much unnecessary change to the game that it would seem that this kind of adjustment to ticket prices would not be a stretch.
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