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Do your part to keep LJ beautiful

BY EGON KAFKA

Many of La Jolla’s business sidewalks and streetscapes could use sprucing up.

There are news racks of dubious value that are not maintained or cleaned. Many are not even filled with publications at all, just ugly, dirty, empty hulks littering the sidewalk. Cigarette butts, paper coffee cups, soda cans and various candy, ice cream and gelato trash needlessly litter our otherwise beautiful Village landscape. Many of our sidewalks are virtually paved with tough black pancakes of naturally aged chewing gum, which is notoriously difficult to remove. Pressure-washing with plain water and enough heat and power does the trick.

A coordinated joint effort in La Jolla to keep the sidewalk streetscape clean will be cheaper and more effective than the piecemeal individual efforts now being done. It is also safer for the environment.

As a demonstration project, Promote La Jolla’s Streetscape/Design Committee recently used some grant money specifically earmarked for sidewalk cleaning to pressure-wash Girard Street from Silverado to Prospect.

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Sunrise came as the night’s work finished. It would have been nice to sweep up the curb, but we had neither the tools nor the energy at the time. Some merchants swept up the street and curb when they arrived at their shops; others, tellingly, did not.

This first cleaning (in a long time) is the slowest and hardest. Follow-up cleanings scheduled at two- or three-month intervals should be considerably easier and faster than this cleaning was.

The Streetscape/Design Committee cleanup program exemplifies the good citizenship demonstrated by the La Jolla Town Council and Promote La Jolla. The group meets the fourth Monday of each month (including next Monday) at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room at 1250 Silverado Ave.

Every citizen’s help is needed to Keep La Jolla Beautiful. If the merchants also join forces, they can accomplish the same thing: to noticeably improve both their individual results and our entire business district right away.

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On the busiest streets, let’s roll out some La Jolla merchant-serviced trash cans and ashtrays to help supplement the public trash cans, which are too few and far apart. It is a no-brainer that every merchant should sweep up butts and trash in front of their own businesses every day.

A Keep La Jolla Beautiful campaign will help to raise public awareness.

Egon Kafka, who owns the La Jolla Village Lodge, is a La Jolla Town Council trustee.