Watching the late-night news as I crawl into bed has always been one of those things I feel compelled to do. I am an information and sound bite junkie, and somehow this gives me a sense of connection to the world - I see and learn what is going on in the real world, find out what the stock markets are up to, get a snip of pop culture, get a preview of tomorrow's weather.
The other part of my late night ritual is taking the world's cutest pooch out for a quick walk. I walk down the stairs somewhere between 10.30 and 11.30. Alfred follows. If he scoots down the stairs ahead of me and runs to the front door, the message is clear. If he saunters and meanders, I am tempted to skip the walk and go straight to giving him a greenie and putting him into his bed, though I usually take him out anyway. If he doesn't pee now, he may urgently need to at 4.30 AM. You learn that lesson after a few times. Although when it is minus 40 here in Canada's northernmost city, I can justify skipping the walk.
Tonight there was crossover between the local evening news and Alfie's late night walk. The lead story was about a pilot project the Edmonton police are doing, for the next week highliting a strip of main drag Jasper Avenue to focus on people who litter, especially with cigarette butts, and fining them $250.
So my question - why is this controversial? Why is this only a pilot project? Granted the fine seems a bit steep, but hey we live in a pavlovian world, so if you want a desired behavior, ensure you have the appropriate consequences. Right behind my house is a path with green space (the city generously calls it a park) and in spite of garbage cans every 50 yards or so I find crap everywhere, sometimes because I look for it, sometimes because I have to wrestle it out of Alfie's tenacious teeth. Tonight was a chicken bone. At least I think it was chicken. Over the past week alone we have found a burger wrapper, pop cans, a vodka bottle, a used condom, newspapers, magazine subscription cards, a key, and some weird metal thing the size of my hand. People, I scoop doggie poop, is it really that hard to toss your garbage in the can? So I say skip the pilot project and hold people responsible, we all deserve to live in a clean city.
And once the garbage thing is fixed, I am pretty sure I witnessed a drug deal going down in the "park" last week. Maybe the police can do something about that?